Most EU projects require at least two partners in different countries. Finding a good project consortium is a crucial part of the application process. Sourcing partners from existing networks, or from already completed or ongoing projects, often makes the partner search quicker and cooperation easier. Through databases available on Commission websites, applicants can find lists of previous projects and overviews of partners available. The national contact points in the EFTA countries can also support this partner search.
It is important to make sure that all partners have a genuine interest in the project, as they often work together for several years. The project consortium is often formalised through an agreement. It governs the internal organisation of the consortium, the distribution of funds, dissemination and use of projet results, including intellectual property right arrangements, and settlement of internal disputes.
Successful projects usually consist of some experienced and some new partners. Typically, the project coordinator is an organisation, body or enterprise with previous EU project experience.
The European Commission is helpful and responsive to questions which may arise ahead of the application deadline. The Commission often sets up helpdesks ("clinics") to answer questions on applications and support the partner search whilst the call is open.