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The DNA of a strong consortium

Wed. 07. Nov 2018 11:44

Have you ever wondered how to make a strong consortium? It must be able to complete the tasks given and thereby ensure that ambitious goals are obtained as well as achieving the expected impact. This blog post will account for some of the thoughts we had when establishing the ImpleMentAll consortium making sure that the necessary knowledge, expertise, and resources were present in the project.

The ImpleMentAll consortium consists of 15 partners covering four elements that we found to be crucial to the project. For one, it was important to ensure skilled research competences, thus the IMA research team comprises world leading institutions in implementation science, clinical psychology, and eMental Health. These partners contribute to reaching IMA’s goal of streamlining the implementation process and scaling up eHealth interventions.

Secondly, we work with real life implementation, which means that we need partners who can provide test beds for the tailored implementation strategies, ItFits-toolkit, and take ambitious steps towards large-scale implementation and normalisation of iCBT in routine practice. The IMA test sites were chosen to constitute different types of healthcare sectors in countries with varying levels of income addressing diverse groups of patients.

Thirdly, experienced project management and collaboration is ensured by comprising the management team of organisations and individuals with extensive knowledge as well as successful track records of project management at a European level for several years. Furthermore, significant parts of the consortium had collaborated previously on other projects ensuring efficient team work.

Fourth and finally, inclusion of partners with extensive competences in communication and dissemination ensures high visibility and scaling of the project in order to make the results available to the wider European society.

Creating the consortium for an EU project the size of IMA is always one of the most important parts of the proposal process. With the IMA consortium, we managed to include the highest level of scientific knowledge, along with organisations that were not only ready to be test sites for the research and had a need for implementation of new iCBT services, but had also showed in other projects that they were able to carry out large scale implementation. For us, it was also very important to include representatives for patients and healthcare professionals to take into consideration the perspectives of these groups and the public,” says Claus Duedal Pedersen on why the consortium is composed the way it is.

The 15 partners in the IMA consortium are spread across Europe and in Australia to ensure representativeness. Our Australian partners not only contribute with their great experience of telemedicine and how to implement this, but also with different challenges than those faced by the European partners. For instance, the geography and general logistics can prevent colleagues from seeing each other face-to-face every day – or healthcare professionals from seeing their patients in person. Additionally, our partners in low/middle income countries bring interesting challenges by operating in healthcare systems at different stages. An important outcome of IMA will be to find out if we, by supporting their implementation process, help them develop their healthcare system further for the benefit of their citizens.

The ImpleMentAll consortium unites leading experts in various areas, such as clinical practice, health innovation, clinical research, patients’ interests, and implementation science. The areas not covered in the consortium are to a large extent covered in the External Advisory Board, ensuring that the ImpleMentAll project has the know-how needed to reach our goals and have substantial impact on the future of healthcare sectors.

If you have any questions, comments, or brilliant ideas about how to establish a strong consortium for a great project at EU-level, please comment below. We would love to hear your insights!

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Mette Atipei Craggs
2020-04-23 10:38:37
Thank you for sharing these insights - very valuable reading indeed! And very much in line with our thinking, when we built our consortium, now (many) years ago.
Ema PavloviĆ
2020-04-22 16:32:14
Great explanation and advices applied on your example! We published similar articles on the Labs Explorer website: 6 Keys to build an effective consortium for a H2020 project (https://www.labsexplorer.com/c/6-keys-to-build-an-effective-consortium-for-a-h2020-project_5) and What you should know when building a consortium in H2020 (https://www.labsexplorer.com/c/what-you-should-know-when-building-a-consortium-in-h2020_9). Let us know what you think.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 733025.
This content reflects only the author's view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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