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Cooperating in times of pandemic

Isabel Carrillo

Isabel Carrillo

Senior Consultant

There is one clear constant along the way, and that is that open innovation, in cooperation with other organisations, is the key to gaining a competitive advantage.

Cooperation has a fundamental role to play in innovation as it brings with it a host of benefits:

  • It increases the chances of market success. Cooperating with organisations involved in the value chain allows suppliers and customers to establish common strategies and engage in the joint development of new products, processes or services, very close to the needs of the market, sharing both resources and risks.
  • It creates new alliances. Horizontal cooperation for innovation can include strategic business alliances to develop and implement new business ideas.
  • It generates synergies and knowledge sharing allows objectives to be achieved more quickly. Sharing knowledge allows learning from each other, generating high added value and eliminating redundant or unnecessary work. An example of synergy generation is cooperation between companies that jointly develop different but highly complementary products.
  • It reduces the cost of project development. Cooperation with other organisations can generate greater knowledge, reducing the number of design reviews and therefore the cost associated with their development. In addition, digitisation makes the management of cooperative projects increasingly effective.

Cooperating to overcome major global challenges

It is true that cooperation still raises some questions, such as access to prior knowledge, ownership and exploitation of results, and methods for protecting intellectual property. Proper knowledge management, including the establishment of systems and methods for sharing and using knowledge, allows these obstacles to be tackled effectively.

Cooperation is therefore clearly the way to overcome major global challenges. The national plans supported by the now famous Next Generation EU funds provide European countries with the opportunity to address the major challenges they face in the coming years. These challenges are not only focused on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, but also on other equally important challenges such as combating climate change, boosting the energy transition, supporting the circular economy or digitisation.

This injection of funding is the perfect opportunity to foster cooperation. The greater the cooperation, the higher the aid intensity. So if you want to take advantage of Next Generation EU funding, the key is to cooperate.

Tips for cooperation

At Zabala Innovation we can offer you some practical advice when it comes to cooperation:

  • Find the right partners. Often the key to success is to surround yourself with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. Meet Kaila, a smart platform developed by Zabala Innovation to boost innovation ecosystems in Europe.
  • Start by signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and cooperate openly.
  • Draw up a consortium agreement that covers your main needs and allows you to reach a common understanding that benefits all parties.
  • Define the technical objectives of the project in an ambitious but realistic way.
  • Keep track of project costs, both staff hours and invoices for materials and collaborations.
  • Keep in mind the environmental principle of ‘Do no significant harm’ (DNSH), which is a mandatory part within Next Generation EU funds.

Cooperation is the key to overcoming major global challenges. At Zabala we increase the success rate and accompany you to make the road more bearable.



Expert person

Isabel Carrillo
Isabel Carrillo

Pamplona Office

Senior Consultant

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