Part Six - sustainability

Introduction

Overview

Checklists

Finding Partners

Managing expectations

Making the commitment

Getting started

Sustainability

Dominance of a single partner
Lack of consensus
Poorly motivated partners
Dependence on key personnel

Final checklist

Last updated:
08/05/05
web-weaver:  neil@neilsandford.co.uk 

It is possible that the future of the consortium will depend on the decisions taken by one partner. This can occur, for example, where one organisation sees greater opportunity than others do, assumes greater responsibilities because others are unwilling to accept them and ends up in a position where it can argue, perhaps rightly, that it has a controlling interest in the outcome.

Finding a group of partners with complementary interests is one way to avoid this situation. The Tunstall case study provides an interesting example of a project where several companies with commercial interests were able to jointly exploit the results of research undertaken by several specialist research groups and engineers, to mutual benefit.

Dominance can also occur in an unbalanced consortium where one partner is given a predominant position from the outset. Although a disproportionate reliance on a single partner is likely to affect the chances of the proposal being supported by the Commission, there are situations where imbalance is more subtle. There is specific risk where one partner is responsible for developing one of the results, has the predominant commercial interest in marketing the result and consequently may dilute the deliverable it gives to the consortium in order to protect its position in the marketplace.

In a well-balanced consortium such as MIMIC, described in the Lumio case study, technology providers and companies able to commercialise the results work together with users from the target marketplace to jointly design and implement a viable solution to a shared problem.