TKK | Tietoverkkolaboratorio | Julkaisut

Managing Multinational Research Projects

Juha Saarnio
Name of the Thesis:
Managing Multinational Research Projects
May 30, 2000
Number of pages:
Department of Electrical and Communications Engineerin
S-38 Telecommunications Technology
Docent Kalevi Kilkki, Dr. Tech.
Project Management, EU, Multinational Research Project
Document available:
In PDF format (407K)
Presentation slides:
In PDF format (309K)


This thesis is an overview of the management of multinational and multicultural research projects in the framework of the European Union. It aims at answering the questions of how to apply for an EU project, what constitutes its management, what problems might arise in the application phase, during its course of running and after it has ended and also it helps the reader to decide when it is appropriate to start an EU project.

Research and development are encouraged by the European Commission through the funding of Framework Programmes under which research programmes reside. In this thesis a case study is conducted in a project called the Integrated Multimedia Project, IMMP. IMMP is a recently finished project that belonged into a research programme ACTS under the Fourth European Framework Programme.

Large multinational research projects are cumbersome to manage due to their quite fragmented nature. A project can be fragmented as a result to its size, organisational involvement, research topics, culturality and so on. There is also quite a heavy load of bureaucracy involved. All these issues should be conceptionalised before starting with a project of this sort. Problems can be caused by a great number of deadlines, reporting, consensus mechanisms, false expectations, partner selection, manpower allocation, the exchange of employees and result dissemination. On the other hand, participating in a EU project can prove to be very fruitful. There are opportunities to be seized that are unique to the multicultural nature of the projects.

As a whole, participating in a European collaboration project can be quite rewarding, provided that the possible pitfalls lurking on the way can be circumvented or alleviated through proper planning and skilful management.

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