Gaining the support of senior management
As you seek internal approval for these commitments, the questions that are likely to be asked most frequently are: "What do we get out of this?" and "What do we have to put in?"
Before entering into a collaborative agreement with a research consortium, your senior management team should validate that the project outcomes are of interest to the organisation and confirm that they are prepared to make available the resources needed to complete your part of the project.
Exploitation of a successful project will require further support from within the organisation and it is useful to have at least one ‘project champion’ who can see the long term benefit.. The OptionExist case study demonstrates that longer-term business models are needed to gain advantage from European collaboration and highlights the need for additional resources in order to capitalise on those opportunities.
Be sure you have sufficiently strong arguments about the benefits the project will deliver before you have to start justifying the commitments that are outlined in the remainder of this section. Preparing this kind of internal justification is also a valuable sanity check on the decision to get involved in a project. If you cannot justify the level of commitment necessary, you are unlikely to be able to play a complete role and the return on your investment will be weak.
It is not just your own management that you need to seek approval from. Without evidence that the other consortium members are equally committed, the risk of failure is significant. Look for the participation of senior representatives from the organisations that host preparatory meetings. As the development of the project plan proceeds, review the CVs of the staff that each partner is proposing to put into the project. Do they have the necessary experience? Do they have sufficient seniority to act as project champions?