Finding collaboration partners

While developing a novel project idea or proposal it often comes natural to think about with whom you could collaborate to be able to succesfully complete the research you have in mind or to be able to fully exploit the results you would like to achieve.

In order to involve external collaborators, it is always worth to have a 1 to 2 page description of the project idea or proposal concept, as to share a tangible description of what you have in mind. 

Where to start?

For collaborative projects a useful point to start is your peers and direct contacts with whom you (successfully or satisfactorily) worked in the past, included the links that your research team and colleagues may have in mind. Being able to work with someone you collaborated in the past, shall give you a good perception if that researcher or research institute would be a good and fitting partner for your future endeavor.

Once a small group of well-connected partners is gathered around the project idea, it will be then possible and easier to enlarge iteratively the consortium by adding partners which can be suggested from the other core partners. Thereby, you are establishing a virtuous circle where necessary components are added at the right timing, though early enough to integrate them in the working group writing the proposal.

Below we present existing tools that could be useful to your partner search.



CORDIS is the primary source of results from EU-funded projects since the early beginning, including information on consortia. From the website you can search in funded European projects and check the involved partners. The Funding & Tenders Portal from the European Commission works in a similar manner and offers you a search for organisations involved in EU funded programmes.  


UT has recently gained access to Crowdhelix, an Open Innovation platform that promotes collaboration and matchmaking between academies, research organisations and companies. The idea is to use the platform as a means for opportunity scouting and finding consortia partners, namely for Horizon Europe projects. All employees at University of Twente can register using their UT e-mail address. While registering, in the field "Organisation" you'll have the chance to recognize all organisations who are already partners of the network. Using the on-line tool is quite straightforward, but the service provider organises regular webinars to help learning how to use and exploit the web tool. SBD-Grants Office is willing to assist researchers who would like to get more information, so do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question.


Specifically on ICT and digital domains, the Ideal-ist platform aims to help ICT companies and research organisations worldwide hoping to find project partners for participation. The platform has been implemented to support especially Horizon2020 proposal building, but it shall be maintained also in the new framework programme Horizon Europe.

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) 

RVO aims to facilitate entrepreneurship, improve collaborations, strengthen positions and help realise national and international ambitions with funding, networking, know-how and compliance with laws and regulations. They offers several ways to help you expand internationally through financial support, personal advice, and access to networks and events to help grow your business on an international level. They are the Dutch National Contact Point for Horizon Europe and other European funding programmes. This means they represent the official contact point to receive all information regarding Horizon Europe and other calls (Digital Europe, European Defence Fund, EUREKA, Eurostars, etc.). From their privileged position they have a strong view, especially on national organization level who are active and interested to specific schemes, so they can actively contribute to support in partner search, apart from giving advices along the proposals preparation.

Events and activities

Information and Matchmaking events

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) and European Commission normally organizes physical meetings and/or online sessions when new calls for proposals are launched.

  • The European Commission presents the Work Programme topics, deadlines and discuss expected outcomes. Along these sessions it is common to have also a brokerage event attached to the Info Day. Organisations participating to Info Days and especially brokerage events are often there to do partner search.
  • NWO organises matchmaking events and conferences in several topics. For some calls is participation in the matchmaking events mandatory. 

Becoming an evaluator or jury member

Becoming an evaluator for the European Commission and/or Dutch Research Council (NWO) means accessing a restrained but very experienced group of experts who are working in related or closed research fields. These expert usually have a great knowledge of European and/or Dutch projects and dynamics. While developing proposals, such experts are aware of the EC/NWO expectations and topic expected outcomes, apart from having a strong personal network at national, European and often international level on top of the domain expertise.


Consider all relevant membership and partnerships in your circle: from yourself, your peers and the University of Twente. For example, letters of intent or collaborations signed from your faculty or the university with external organisations, such as ECIU, CESAER, municipality or regional entities.

How can we help?

The SBD-Grants Office can assist you with your partner search and guide you in your next steps. Please reach out to to place your question. 

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