Plan for autumn’s Cooperation Projects call with five steps

The strongest Cooperation Projects are given plenty of time and planning.

Whether you’re creating a project and approaching partners to develop it, or you’ve been invited to partner on a project already in development, there’s a lot of work that goes into: 

  • agreeing common objectives between partners
  • discussing roles and responsibilities
  • deciding the allocation of budget and sources of match-funding
  • ensuring everyone is happy to commit to a long-term project that can last up to four years.

Although an autumn deadline may seem comfortably far away, the months slip past quickly, particularly when you factor in that organisations can be on holiday for large periods in July and August.

If you’re thinking of applying to 2018’s Cooperation Projects call, now is the time to move conversations forward with confirmed and potential partners, or to reach out to your European contacts and find out what projects are already in development.

Come along to one of our events across the UK or get in touch with one of the team for advice on where to start, which ideas are a good fit, and where to go next with international connections.

5 steps to prepare for the Cooperation Projects call

Whether lead or partner, the earlier you can set to work, the stronger the application, the partnership and the project. 

1. Find your partners

  • Approach your partners and discuss your project idea.
  • Reach out to your European and international connections and announce that you are interested partnering on a Cooperation Project. State your areas of expertise and your interests.
  • Have in-person and Skype meetings with your partners to get to know one another better. Find out what your collective strengths are and what each of your ambitions are for the future – this will help you when you are deciding on the objectives and activities of the project.
  • Make sure all partners are speaking to their own country’s Creative Europe Desk so that you can be on the same page when talking about Creative Europe criteria, application documents, and so on.

2. Clarify your project

  • Not sure if this project is a good fit for the Cooperation Projects strand? Discuss it with someone from the Creative Europe Desk UK team. 
  • In your partner meeting(s), discuss project objectives, the division of activities, partner roles and responsibilities, target groups/audiences, the budget, and how you are going to tackle the application documents.
  • The ‘Award Criteria’ (Pages 16 & 17 of the Guidelines), which is a description of how the applications are assessed, along with the specific questions you need to address, are a great reference point when refining your project.

3. Understand the application process and how projects are assessed

  • Understand the application process and documents by reading last years' Guidelines (including the document checklist at the back), while we wait for the next calls to be published in late summer/early autumn. Also the Guide for Applicants, and other Call documents, and chatting with a member of the Creative Europe Desk UK team.

4. Bring your colleagues into the partnership

  • Involve other people in your company/organisation as early as possible – especially whoever will be responsible for the finances! 
  • Get input from your comms department on how to package your activities. The better you are at taking about the project, the stronger your application will be.

5. What next?

As we get closer to the deadline:

  • Contact us to let us know what you're planning
  • Creative Europe Desk UK will continue providing support. Idea development workshops and application writing workshops will be held over the summer, which will go through a refresher on the application process, and highlight updates for this year’s call. We’re not anticipating any significant changes, but there may be smaller modifications to documents/questions.
  • A financial management workshop in late September/early October in Edinburgh to tackle more in-depth questions around preparing and managing the budget with partners, and how to best set up systems and prepare for running a project
  • A final webinar near to the deadline to catch any arising questions, and enable people based more remotely to attend a workshop with other applicants.
  • Cooperation Projects deadline is TBC in the late autumn.

And you can always get in touch directly to book in a one-to-one meeting or a phone/Skype call.

Remember that the Creative Europe Desk UK Culture team are based in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester, and are always happy to discuss project ideas, partnerships and the application process before these workshops. 

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Image: Far From the Norm partners in Circus250: Diverse, Real, Physical which received €200,000 from Creative Europe (c) Camilla Greenwall