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 are the major risks?

We have already said, several times, that there are risks associated with collaborative research. Some risk areas can be managed effectively by taking appropriate precautions. Others are inherent in any collaboration that has commercial implications and can only be pre-empted, rather than mitigated later in the project. Checklist Four describes some of the steps you can take to manage these risks.

Risk of conflict

Of all the types of conflict that can occur within a consortium, the three that are most likely to occur are all basically conflicts of interest:

  • Conflict between a consortium memberís own interests and those of the project
  • Conflict between the commercial interests of two or more consortium members
  • Conflict between the consortium as a whole and the EC.

Other forms of conflict that can occur are likely to have their roots in culture, personality or management style. Commitment to transparent decision-making, effective communication (both formal and informal) and explicit and agreed goals will make confrontation less likely. Other techniques for reducing the risk of conflict are described in Checklist Four and in Part Four.

Being pulled in two directions

Commercial sensibilities

Losing the support of the Commission

Risk of failure

The risk of failure is inherent in research and technological development work. If every research path was guaranteed to succeed, there would be no justification for external funding. Risk can be managed more effectively if the project plan allocates realistic tasks with appropriate timescales and resources to competent and well-motivated partners. During the execution of that project plan, three aspects of management help keep development on track.

Agreement over detail

Visible effort

Controlling enthusiasm