Consortia

Competitive advantages and enhanced development impacts by pooling resources together

Why consortia?

Input from a wide range of different actors is required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many of the challenges and problems facing societies in developing markets are complex, demanding inter-organizational solutions, technologies, and expertise for being properly addressed.

This also entails a significant market potential for joint offerings and solutions by Finnish actors.

Multi-actor collaboration such as consortia are strongly emphasized in Finland’s official Africa strategy launched in March 2021.

Illustration of the role of Finnpartnership, Fingo and Business Finland, where these three actors provide funding, support and expertise to support companies, NGOs, educational institutions and research institutions in the formation of consortia in order to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 

The outset

There are significant variations in the outset of potential consortia, ranging from already existing to completely non-existent personal and inter-organizational relationships.

Limited initial personal and inter-organizational relationships significantly increase the requirement for strategic and managerial aspects that need to be considered in consortium formation.

There is no universal blueprint or best-in-class operational model for consortia. However, research indicates that a successful consortium requires at least one champion organization, i.e. at least one organization with the resources, capabilities and interest for holding a leading role.

 

What makes a good composition?

The fundamental idea is that the partners involved focus on the tasks they perform well whilst simultaneously relying on partners in other areas. This allows all consortium members access to e.g. complementary technologies, solutions, services, and expertise, as well as new markets and risk reduction.

 

Illustrative draft of a Consortium and partner competencies

Illustrative draft of a consortium with 4 partners and their competencies. Partner 1 bringing engineering skills, sales capabilities, patents/IPR, R&D, references; Partner 2 risk management skills, CSR/HSEQ capabilities, partners/partnerships (partnership models), customers, market position/brand; Partner 3 bringing solutions/technology, local market insight/regional presence, local business culture, strategy and internationalization capabilities, customers; and Partner 4 bringing contracts, solutions/technology, marketing skills, management and way of working, business development capabilities, key stakeholder relationships.

Collaboration building on complementary resources and capabilities, where all involved actors ideally focus on their core competency.

 

Forming a consortium

Requirements and key aspects that need to be considered when initiating and forming a consortium are naturally very case-specific. From the point of view of an individual organization and potential consortium member, entering a multi-stakeholder initiative is a strategic decision that needs to entail value-added.

Forming a consortium is no easy task and potential challenges are very case-specific. However, focus needs to be placed on the consortium strategy, a careful and well-assessed partner selection, and the management, execution, and implementation of the process.

It is essential to establish (and maintain) trust and commitment between all consortium members.

Including a consortium member(s) already active in the target market, e.g. a company and/or an NGO, is a relevant aspect to consider. In terms of partners in general, the consortium can to a great extent benefit from the (early) involvement of a local partner(s), i.e. an organization registered and active in the local market.

 

A general checklist

Some topics that might be relevant for the triggering organization to consider when forming the consortium, particularly in a setting with limited initial personal and inter-organizational relationships between the consortium members, can be reviewed here.

 

Examples of consortia

Strategic multi-stakeholder collaboration comes in many shapes and forms and there is almost an endless range of alternatives for consortium compositions (e.g. number of members, organization types, roles and responsibilities, and potential subcontractors supporting the efforts of the consortium).

Here you can review some examples of the potential composition of consortia. Some of the illustrations are inspired by previous projects funded by Finnpartnership.

For further inspiration, please have a look at one of our consortium case examples, including 4 Finnish organizations collaborating in Nepal.

For funding and support, the individual organizations forming a consortium can apply for either Finnpartnership Business Partnership Support (BPS grant) or Business Finland (BF) funding.

 

Contact

Finnpartnership operates in close collaboration with Fingo and we are available to support companies in mapping potential NGOs, that would be suitable members in a consortium.

In any consortium-related matters, please reach out to us to discuss the case.

Axel Sointu

Grants Coordinator

axel.sointu@finnpartnership.fi

040 596 9877