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

Last updated:

How is Framework Programme Six different?

A fundamental tenet of FP6 is that funded projects and networks should support the objectives of the European Research Area (ERA). This implies that consortium participants must learn how to conduct research activities as though they were part of a single, European entity rather than representing various countries. Partnering skills, including knowing how to incorporate new partners as a project matures, will be vital components in the achievement of this aim. The rapid expansion in the number of eligible countries implies that many consortia will be seeking to introduce inexperienced partners. There are specific actions designed to involve organisations with specialist skills from, for example, Eastern Europe as well as actions intended to provide transfer of skills into less-advantaged or less-developed regions.

The scale of the 'new instruments' called Integrated Projects and Networks of Excellence implies that consortia will become larger and the number of projects in a given research area correspondingly smaller. The shift towards these larger contracts implies that the competition for funding under traditional instruments will be more intense and consortium members will have to do more to justify their participation.

The move away from 'close-to-market' projects funded under Framework Programmes Four and Five towards longer-term work will provide additional challenges for all participants, but especially SMEs, in terms of protecting the value of your investment in the project.