Report Task Force on Programme Management in the era of ERA (August 2005)

"Framing Collaboration Models between National Research and Technological Development Programmes."


ERA-NETs, networking activities between national or regional programmes, have to tackle the question of how to arrange collaboration between programmes in practice. Because many of the first waves of ERA NETs involved members of TAFTIE, the Association decided to launch a Task Force at the beginning of this year to generate conceptual models for transnational collaboration between national RTDI Programmes.  


Some Main Findings
Models: There is no single menu to guide the collaboration between national programmes. All depends on values and practices adopted by participants. The Task Force, however, comes with several suggestions for financial and for management models.


Real Need: Transnational collaboration between national programmes only works well, if there is a perception of a real strong need for collaboration. If there is a will a practical way to collaborate can be found, but it involves a process of growing by doing in the sense that time and mutual confidence are both necessary. Time is necessary to really shape the process into viability.

Transnational collaboration always causes “disturbance”; reasons for them should best be braced in advance.


Collaboration in science is easier than in technology:  Collaboration seems to be arranged for far easier when there are many different parts of programmes from which to choose mutual activities.  Different parts of programmes with different characteristics can be combined in different ways. The most practical way to build collaborative actions is through bi- or tri- lateral consortia using programmes of similar operative character.


Decentralised Financing: There are many different procedures for financing collaborative actions. Decentralised financing models are best suited for time limited collaboration between national programmes. Overall activities may be best managed collegially in many cases though variations for best practices vary greatly.


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