The CCC is distinguished by its multidisciplinary cooperation and its precompetitive and demand-driven approach. Clear-cut agreements are needed to facilitate this for optimum results. Therefore, upon the start of every CCC program, a Consortium Agreement (CA) is drawn up and signed by all the participating businesses and knowledge institutes.
The CA establishes general agreements and sets ground rules for the public-private partnership. It includes a non-disclosure agreement and sets out how partners will contribute in cash and in-kind to the research budget. The CA also states which activities the participating parties will perform, the way research results will be published and how intellectual property (IP) will be distributed, with due consideration of the business scope of participating industrial parties. Through its years of experience, the CCC has developed a reliable blueprint that other consortia – such as the Protein Competence Center – are now also using.
IMPLEMENTATION OF RESEARCH PROGRAMS
Naturally, agreements also clearly establish who is in charge of the program and who will function as the primary contact point for the CCC senior management team. For every program, the CCC management will appoint a program director. Program directors are responsible for the progress and coherence of the research. They can also advise participants on scientific as well as valorization aspects of the research, but the knowledge institutes involved remain responsible for the scientific quality.
Half-way through the project term the director, moreover, organizes an evaluation of the scientific quality: also called the mid-term review. The outcome of this review is discussed with program parties, enabling an adjustment of course if needed and promoting cooperation within the research teams. Another evaluation is done upon program completion. This closing evaluation includes an explicit look at valorization opportunities and potentials for follow-up research.