1. Do I need partners to do what I want to do?




Do I need partners to do what I want to do?
Would I be a good partner?
What do I want to give? What do I want to get?
What do I need to do to manage the risks and responsibilities?
How do I protect our investment?

Finding Partners

Managing expectations

Making the commitment

Getting started


Final checklist

Last updated:
web-weaver:  neil@neilsandford.co.uk 

Yes Ö But not if Ö
  • Very often the project you have in mind is just too large or too complex to resource by yourself, particularly if the key people involved would be taken away from your mainstream business activities for an extended period.
  • You may not have all the skills, experience, knowledge or background IPR that will be required to achieve your aims, so you need to find and work with partners who can bring these missing attributes to the project.
  • Look beyond the end of the project: what will you have accomplished by then, and how will you exploit it? Maybe you can not expect to exploit all of the benefits on your own? Maybe you will need partners to help to commercialise, manufacture, distribute, market, sell or support what you have achieved. If so, you might want them involved in the project.
  • Working with other organisations is a good way to spread risk, both in terms of sharing costs and in assuming joint liability if things go wrong.
  • Donít become involved in a project with partners simply to gain access to funding. The EC money is there as an acknowledgement that working in a multi-organisational team across international and cultural boundaries is hard, and will incur additional costs.
  • If the projectís aims and objectives are not aligned with your organisationís goals, donít commit resources to it. The other partners will have their own reasons for being in the project and you could end up putting effort in on their behalf and getting little back in exchange.
  • If the project is peripheral to your organisationís core activities, or the results are marginally relevant, you will not receive the level of support you need from your own management, and it is likely that you will underperform.
  • Conversely, if the results of the project are crucial to your organisationís survival, it would be unwise to use an EC-funded vehicle to get it done. It is almost certain that you would want to be in the driving seat rather than subject to the outcomes of a collaborative project.
  • Donít expect a collaborative EC project to be a quick fix. Remember that work is unlikely to start less than nine months after the submission of a proposal and usable results may be several years away. Further, the larger and more multi-cultural the consortium is, the longer it will take to get things done.