I have seen both “kooperieren bei einer Sache” as well as “kooperieren in einer Sache”. What’s the difference? In what function are the prepositions “bei” and “in” used here?

Examples are:

Vattenfall und Primus Energie kooperieren bei der Entwicklung von Onshore-Windprojekten.

Sanner und Amiko kooperieren in der Entwicklung digitaler Verpackungslösungen

Wir rufen auch die europäischen Organe auf, bei diesen Bemühungen zu kooperieren, um den nordkoreanischen Flüchtlingen zu helfen.

Die Massenmedien kooperieren in der Bemühung, eine solche Atmosphäre zu schaffen, als ob das Problem der radioaktiven Verstrahlung durch das Reaktorunglück nicht existiere.

  • Could you edit your question with examples where either version is used? Because "kooperieren in einer Sache" feels off to me, unless you mean something like "Sie kooperieren in der neuen gemeinsam Arbeitsgruppe" ("The cooperate in the new shared work group"). Mar 3, 2021 at 11:41
  • @HenningKockerbeck Doesn't feel off to me. A made up example: VW und BMW kooperieren in der Entwicklung der Technologie des autonomen Fahrens. Sounds perfectly fine to me.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Mar 3, 2021 at 11:44
  • Duden says kooperieren auf einem Gebiet. Mar 3, 2021 at 11:59
  • @jonathan.scholbach So we would have "kooperieren bei" with regard to a task, a project or the like, and "kooperieren in" with regard to a field, an organisation and the like? Mar 3, 2021 at 13:12
  • 1
    @Henning Kockerbeck - I would say though, this difference is almost independent of the verb ("kooperieren"), it depends on the preposition "bei" or "in" and with what groups of nouns they are mainly used.
    – mic
    Mar 3, 2021 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


Both prepositions can be used, and I see no difference in meaning.

When I think longer about it, I guess that I would perhaps be more likely to use "in" if it is a cooperation between only the two named partners, while I would be more likely to use "bei" if they join in an effort that others are pursuing, too.

However, in my opinion you can still use both in both cases, and your examples actually show that.

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