A Day in the Life of a Catalyze Consultant by Evelyne Klaassen
4 November 2019
Just what does it mean to be a Catalyze consultant, and take part in building a stellar consortium?
As a consultant, you’re tasked with a multitude of responsibilities that change every week. Depending on each unique project and the phase they’re in, your daily tasks can vary. At the beginning of a project you are busy with conceptualizing the proposal or the idea, midway you are often writing the proposal or drafting budgets and towards the end you are busy with “crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s.” All phases in an application process have fun and challenging parts but can also be a little time-consuming and sometimes frustrating.
The phase and associated tasks that I personally find most rewarding and enjoyable as a consultant revolve around consortium building. Many subsidies are not open for just one company, SME, or university, but require a consortium with members adding value to the project by their expertise or technologies. With combining the knowledge of all consortium partners, together they will be able to develop or commercialize a product, which would not be possible by just one consortium partner alone.
As a consultant, our job for the client is to compile the best consortium possible. This will increase their chance on winning the subsidy and will help them in their project and product development. Sounds easy, right? Well, I can tell you that it is often not so easy. It requires a lot of clear communication, patience, confidence and negotiation. If you are on a full-time basis, actively seeking for consortium partners it might feel that you are working in a call center, regularly reaching out and trying to affirm connections. I can imagine that you may be thinking now, ‘why on earth do you like this part the most?’ The truth is, this work is highly rewarding! As a consultant, I couldn’t be happier than hearing an SME with the right expertise for the project is officially joining in and ready to collaborate on the long-term. (Well, almost as happy as when a project wins their subsidy!)
Moreover, as you are speaking to so many companies it is also inspiring to hear more about all the cool, innovative life sciences/MedTech companies throughout Europe and learn what kind of cutting-edge work they are doing. While sometimes it might not be the best match for the consortium, the silver lining is you get to have nice conversations and learn about new technologies every single day.