In The Beginning.....
Organisations realize they have a need, depending on your organisation this will vary widely.
Some organisations are looking to increase the work they already do. Others are looking to branch out in to a different or extra strand of work. Alternatively organisations may want to learn from the past experience of others doing similar work.
How the process starts.....
Start by working out what your project is, not in great detail, just the general focus. This is essential for the next step along the way.
The next step is finding the right stream of finance for your project. The wide range of different pots of money with all sorts of different criteria make this part the first step where you really need expertise to help guide you.
Once you have found a funding stream that matches the project idea that you have, you will need to start searching for partners.
The minimum amount of partners you need can vary between EU Programs.
Often (but not always) there are rules around where you can draw partners from geographically. Partners also need to have similar objectives and aims as your project.
Once you have found partners, it is important to start the technical side of the project at the same time as continuing to build the partnerships.
The technical side of the process includes deciding the role each partner will play as well as creating the budgets and writing the detail of work to be undertaken.
Don't forget the exchange rates when creating a budget!
As most projects will be required to have at least one partner from outside the UK, some thought must be given to translation.
Professional translators are the best way to make sure everything says the same in both (all) languages but they are normally very expensive.
Another downside of using translators is they do not always have the scientific knowledge to understand the Technical way to put something across.
From experience we have found it is possible to only use minimal translation right up to the bid submission stage.
The important time to use expert translation is carrying out the project itself. This means you can work the costs of the translators in to the project.
Surprisingly tool's like google translate are good enough in most cases for both parties to be able to understand what is being said.