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Project Management in collaborative European research projects


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


EARMA Digital Conference 2021


In the University sector research in engineering is dominated by funding where collaboration between university and industry is encouraged. The set-up with will successively increase the complexity of the projects along many lines. The projects funded by the European Commission or jointly funded by national agencies are often encouraged to grow large, often even competing companies might be partners, the objectives are often very unclear and the fuzziness increases with the growth of the consortium and so on. The School of Innovation, Design and Engineering (IDT) at Mälardalen University, Sweden, has built it´s research environment in cooperation with industry and to large extent by funding from external sources, like funding agencies both in Sweden and in Europe. As the number of research project has increased, the challenge to run and manage the projects is correspondingly increasing. To allow researchers to focus on research rather than project management, IDT has invested in training for professional project management to, provide professional project managing service to researchers and research projects.In this session we will provide details about a specific division of duties in conducting a large research collaborative projects at MDH, between researchers and technical personnel on one hand and a professional management team on the other. In order to increase the efficiency of the coordination and the operational management, the management tasks have been assigned to a Project coordinator and a Project Manager (or project co-coordinator). The Project Coordinator is the primary contact with the commission and in charge of controlling the timely and effective overall progress of the project whilst the project co-coordinator or project manager, will take care of the day-to-day management of the activities of the project (Chair the Executive Board meetings, coordinate the dissemination and exploitation events, guarantee a correct circulation of respective information and communication among the Members of the Consortium). The project managers work on a day-to-day basis together with the scientific and technical leads. The poster will focus, in particular as an example, on the recently funded and just started VeriDevOps Horizon2020 project and how the implementation of the project has been structured throughout the Pre-Award phase and how it is structured in the Post- Award phase, with the coordination performed by professional project managers at MDH in Sweden and the scientific leadership by a Finnish university and the technical leadership by a tech company in France.We want to collect experiences from other European projects from sharing management duties between professional project managers and the researchers and the technicians. Which are the obstacles, and which are the benefits? How can the culture and the administration in the organisations be helpful – or hamper the best praxis? A study will be performed with questionnaires sent to European project consortia.


author = {Gunnar Widforss and Olga Hendel},
title = {Project Management in collaborative European research projects },
month = {April},
year = {2021},
booktitle = {EARMA Digital Conference 2021},
url = {}