A strategic cooperation agreement represents a pact among two individuals or a group of people, businesses or governments whereby resources are pooled and key skills are shared. This type of alliance often permits the participants to accomplish far more than they could alone, from creating new products and services to cross-border governmental cooperation. In an increasingly competitive world, this form of collaboration is both necessary and productive.
Strategic cooperation agreements permit all participants, whether it's two sole proprietors or a group of sovereign nations, to keep their own employees and independence while embarking on joint projects without the need to legally merge. These agreements represent formal documents that spell out respective responsibilities and mutual goals over a fixed time frame. Some are structured to be open-ended to take advantage of changing circumstances while leaving additional terms subject to negotiations. Strategic cooperation need not be among equals, and smaller players who have something to bring to the table are equally valued.
Achieving synergy is generally built on benefits that accrue to each participant, even though they may have starkly different goals. Oil-producing countries, for example, may crave carrots and corn while those on the other side of the agreement need oil. None of the parties can attain what they desire alone, so working together feeds all involved without resort to a literal or figurative takeover.
Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, and strategic cooperation agreements between household name companies and niche players alike have become plentiful. These agreements can open up new markets, develop society-changing technologies and combine employee resources in a way not possible alone. In highly specialized fields like computers, software, drug research and natural resource development, brilliant brainpower remains scarce, and working together can yield lasting pleasure and prosperity.
The globalization of businesses and markets makes strategic cooperation agreements more vital than ever. Within this context, significant barriers such as language and cultural differences remain, so having a dedicated partner in place and at home goes a long way toward providing access to expanding markets. Strategic cooperation agreements can provide not only increased profits to those at the table, but can help mitigate poverty and provide hope to countless people.
Robert Rimm graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and founded 88keys.com to provide education, writing and communications services for clients within the nonprofit, arts and education communities in the United States, Europe and Russia. His key interests include art and culture, social entrepreneurship, education, the environment and human rights. He is fluent in French and Russian, and is a widely published author.