Objectives: The purpose of the European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) is to make HTA agencies collaborate sharing methods and tools thus avoiding duplication of evaluative efforts and allowing resource savings. From 2010 to 2012, the activities of the network were carried out through EUnetHTA Joint Action 1 and Work Package 4 Strand B aimed at producing two Core HTAs with two main objectives: to test the Web based Core model and the collaborative working models. Our objective in this article is to give an historical record of the Work Package activities highlighting what worked and what did not in the collaboration of researchers’ groups coming from different agencies.
Methods: A retrospective description of all the steps for the joint production of the two Core HTAs is provided starting from the first step of selecting technologies of common interest. Primary researchers’ views on the whole process have been collected through a semi-structured telephonic interview supported by a questionnaire. Coordinators views were gathered during internal meetings and validated.
Results: Majority of respondents thought topic selection procedure was not clear and well managed. About collaborative models, small groups were seen to enable more exchange, whatever the model. According to coordinators, loss of expertise and experience during the production process, different languages, and novelty of the Online Tool were main barriers.
Conclusions: Lessons learned from this first experience in Joint Action 1 paved the path for the collaboration in Joint Action 2, as it allowed enhancements and changes in models of collaborations and coordination.