Research by its very nature is a collaborative activity, where the potential added value of a close-knit network such as the Coimbra Group is immense. The considerable complexity of research programmes and funding today, and in particular of the European Union?s ?Horizon 2020? programme further highlights the need for greater and enhanced cooperation in research. Universities? research support offices constitute permanent structures at universities with the necessary knowledge, expertise and experience to optimize network cooperation in enhancing local expertise through the sharing of best practice, in pursuit of deeper cooperation in actual projects, and in informing policy debate.