Good practice examples
Access and Withdrawal of Partners
Once a CRC has been founded, the process of finding further partners continues. This usually goes hand in hand with an active search for new partners and moderated discussion among the existing partners whether a potential partner shall become a new consortium participant.
- Develop a policy for the recruitment of new members
- Is it a goal to recruit new members? If yes, develop a corresponding strategy.
- Are competitors of existing partners welcome to join?
- Is unanimous approval from existing partners required?
- Can new members have a seat in the board/steering committee?
- What are the obligations of new members, especially in respect of already ongoing activities?
- If the CRC is publicly funded, decide how new partners will be considered in the funding contract.
- Structure the process of finding new members
- Make an inventory of existing partners and their competences. Look for gaps and complementarities and identify potential competitors.
- Address potential new partners in a proactive manner.
- Publish the advantages and requirements of becoming a member of the CRC. Outline the services on offer and highlight the R&D competencies.
- NB - (Background) IP to which partners will have access is a very good mechanism for attracting new partners.
A lively network implies that partners are not only joining but may also be leaving. This might be due to a deliberate decision of the partner, e.g., if costs are perceived to be higher than benefits, if competitors are entering the network, or if strategic decisions in their own organizations changed (i.e., takeover). A further potential reason is the mere success of a partner, leading to a spin-off enterprise. Moreover, it may become necessary to exclude members not complying with the cooperation agreement.
- The consortium agreement should contain the following regulations:
- For what duration do members join the consortium?
- Can members exit the consortium during the period for which they have signed? – recommend six months notice?
- Will a member that leaves have ownership of, or access to, results?
- What will be done to replace the financial/in kind contribution contributed by the exiting member?
- If publicly funded, is there a need for an amendment in the funding contract?