3. How to start the international work?
3.1. What is the minimum number of partners in an international partnership?
The answer to this question may be different for different grant programmes, so it is recommended to check the chosen programme guidelines each time.
In general, the minimum number of partners is:
- A minimum of two partners, from two different countries covered by the programme, in the case of bilateral cooperation projects (e.g. cross-border cooperation programs, such as Poland - Lithuania or Poland - Germany).
- A minimum of three partners, from three different countries covered by the programme, for partnership cooperation projects.
It is worth considering an invitation to cooperation at least one partner more than the applicable minimum.
Then, if one of the partners withdraws from the project implementation (which happens very rarely, but it happens), it will be still possible to continue the project.
3.2. What are the most common transnational cooperation models?
The most common transnational cooperation models are:
- Exchange of information and good practices;
- Parallel development of solutions;
- Import/export/adaptation of new solutions;
- Common organisation of events/developing common “products” (such as, for ex. a training programme, a publication, an exhibition, a theatre show etc.);
- Educational mobilities of the key staff of the organization in order to: participate in a course/ training; job shadowing; conducting classes abroad.
Several different cooperation models can coexist in one project.
3.3. How do I find (the right) project partners?
Possible project partners should meet three criteria:
- Thematic and content-related affinity (but not necessarily from the same field of work, since complementary approaches can generate added value, for example)
- At best, experience in the field (depending on project requirements)
- Good communication channels
Three ways of finding a partner are recommended:
- Request already known organizations
- Partner search via project search
- Partner search via partner platforms
If you do not yet have contacts to organisations in Europe, it is recommended above all to find organisations through EU projects that have already been carried out, because these organisations already have experience in international cooperation and can usually be regarded as serious. More information about 2) and 3) can be found here.
The size of the organisations can vary greatly within a project. You can/should also contact larger organisations for partner acquisition. These can possibly add value to the project due to their resources.
It is also helpful to create a profile on platforms such as EPALE and fill it with information about your own organisation in order to attract the attention of other organisations. More information on platforms can be found here.
3.4 Which funding programme is best for getting started?
If you are an organisation that is still inexperienced in international cooperation, it is advisable to start with a mobility programme, for example from the Erasmus+ funding programme. These programmes support the further education and training of staff in other organisations in Europe.
1) The approval rate for mobility projects is usually much higher than for partnership projects.
2) The focus is on the further training of the competences of the own staff.
3) English skills are developed.
4) Contacts can be made for further international projects.
5) The project organisation is easier than in partnership cooperation.
6) It is a good introduction to the field of international cooperation.