Part One - Overview



What is meant by partnering?
How is Framework Programme Six different?
What are the responsibilities of a partner?
What are the major risks?
How do you set up an effective consortium?


Finding Partners

Managing expectations

Making the commitment

Getting started


Final checklist

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What is meant by partnering?

Partnership is not always the natural way of solving problems. In European-level research, partnering is something organisations have to do, not always something they want to do. In a well-constructed consortium you will be collaborating with people with a variety of specialist skills, from different countries and cultures and with different commercial motivations.

'Partnership' is a noun. It is a thing. 'To partner' is a verb. It is what you do.

A project built on a commitment to partnering should result in your getting something of lasting value, but it also means that your newly-found partners will be expecting you to give them the same opportunity, so look at the possible motivation of the participants.. In deciding whether a proposed consortium is a good or bad idea, it is wise to ask yourself what your organisation can contribute, as well as thinking about what you will get out of it.

A collaborative approach to research fits well within the remit of the European Commission. The emphasis is, and has to be, on tackling problems that can best be addressed at a European not a national level and which brings benefit for Europe, not just a single company. Part of the thinking behind this is that European companies, having to compete globally, need the support of a strong research and development base in order to be competitive.

Although the Commission will be partially funding the costs of the project, it is wrong to think that you will be working for or providing a service to the EC. It is best to think of the money you receive as a contribution towards the additional cost and risk associated with tackling a complex problem at a multinational level where your motivation for partnering will include one or more of the following:

Access to critical background IPR and to missing skills

Critical mass

Enhanced credibility/capability

Access to markets

Spreading risk

Before you commit to a Framework bid

Checklists One and Two help you to determine whether your project idea is suitable for collaborative research - and whether you would make a good partner for a consortium.