What is considered a “pre-existing relationship” and why is this necessary?

Applicants must demonstrate that team members from both the U.S. and non-U.S. organizations have successfully worked together previously. The prior work should reflect elements of strong collaboration – such as mutual trust, communication, and a system for coordinating tasks – that can serve as a basis for this project. Due to the inherent challenges of collaboration across countries, cultures, or long distances, having a track record of previous partnership helps ensure a more successful project.