In the article entitled, “How should I start a European project proposal?,” we presented some recommendations on how to start the design of an excellent European proposal.
We recommended that you start with a good project concept outlining what will be an excellent proposal in the medium term. Using this concept, you should identify the roles you need to cover the main activities of the project.
Once you have identified the roles you need, you should start looking for the best partners to complete your proposal.
Based on our experience, the best partners should have a combination of the following characteristics:
- those who are experts in the challenge and topic you are targeting (experts in sectors or technologies addressed in the proposal may also be a good partner),
- those who will add value to the proposal and,
- those who are willing to make excellent contributions to the overall proposal document.
The coordinator must play a key role of integrating inputs from all the partners, but you should also ensure partners’ complete involvement in the pursuit of excellence in producing a viable and competitive proposal.
We often make the mistake of thinking that a proposal with partners of a certain credibility such as having expansive experience at European or international level is a winning proposal; however, our experience tells us that partners’ broad involvement in preparing the proposal is more relevant and important than whether or not they possess impressive credentials. The ideal situation would be a combination of both characteristics.
To achieve this, we recommend that you start looking at the contacts you already have with whom you have worked successfully in the past.
In addition, there are variety of interesting tools for search and matchmaking to find those missing partners you need for a successful proposal. Therefore, we recommend the following:
- The “Funding and Tenders” portal itself. We should look for partners:
- The “Partners Search” application is very useful to search for partners in projects related to specific topics and keywords.
- We also recommend, when designing the strategy for the consortium, to analyse “Projects& Results” tool to see statistics by country, region or type of entity.
- In addition, each topic has a specific access to “Partners Search”. With this functionality, entities can present their needs for roles and profiles to complete their consortium. It is also possible to present the entity, its strengths and what role it could play in the proposal.
- There are also other available tools and methodologies for searching the right partners to build your consortium. We would like to highlight, among them:
- Infodays and B2B events organised by the EC itself or other entities such as the ministries and innovation agencies of the countries participating in the different funding programmes.
- Matchmaking platforms based on technologies and industrial sectors. Among these platforms, we would like to highlight SMEBOOK. This platform will help you find the most compatible partners for your organisation. Its powerful algorithm analyses the compatibility between companies and proposes the most suitable partners based on 1) geographical proximity, 2) profile accuracy based on NLP, 3) technological matching, 4) different collaboration needs, and 5) the actual organisation’s engagement in different technological collaborations.