PDT:MOU

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EGI MoU Framework

Purpose

The MoU provides a means of documenting the relationship that EGI-InSPIRE has with other projects, and the activities and objectives of such a collaborative relationship. EGI-InSPIRE will establish MoUs with other projects in order to facilitate and strengthen the collaboration between them. The MoU will identify areas of collaboration, clarify roles and commitments from parties involved and agree on a joint programme of work.

What is an MoU?

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a written agreement that clarifies the relationships, responsibilities and communication channels between two or more parties that may share services, clients, and resources. The MoU is used when both parties do not want to pursue a contract that is legally binding (generally). Formal contracts can be intimidating therefore MoUs are the better option for some communities. However, it can also be used to regulate the relationship between parties.

Why is it Important to Have an MoU?

An MoU can strengthen the ability of two or more parties to mutually solve problems. Participating parties benefit from the interchange of ideas and practices. The reasons that the parties are coming together to collaborate with each other are documented and the activities to achieve these goals are described and can be monitored to measure progress.

What is Actually Included in an MoU?

The MoUs can cover a variety of issues and topics. Each party needs to contribute to the process of drafting the MoU. An MoU with EGI-InSPIRE should address the following:

  • Define the scope and goals of the described collaboration:
    • Why the MoU?
    • What do we want to achieve with the MoU?
  • When there is a problem how do we deal with it?
  • Clarification of roles, responsibilities and communication points.
  • Identifying any areas of confidentiality.
  • Periodic review of the MoU through:
    • Specification of milestones
    • Monitoring of their achievement
    • Mechanism for enforceability and escalation
  • Effective date, duration, amendment and termination
  • The MoU may also include:
    • Information about the participating parties
    • Required reports associated with the milestones
    • Joint participation in technical (e.g. data challenge) or dissemination activities

When drafting an MoUs recall that while a vague MoU can provide flexibility to both parties it can be quite difficult to enforce.