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Cognitive radio (CR) systems allow unlicensed secondary users to transmit on the licensed frequency bands without degrading the transmissions of licensed primary users. Combining CR with other emerging techniques such as multi-antenna relaying may bring many benefits for the secondary transmissions. In this study, the authors propose and investigate a new relay-based cooperation scheme for a CR network to improve the secondary access to the licensed spectrum band without causing additional interference to the simultaneous primary transmission. The proposed scheme considers one multi-antenna relay node that can assist either the primary or the secondary transmission using beam-forming (BF). In the proposed new scheme, the BF weights are designed in the presence of imperfect channel state information (CSI). Simulation results show that the secondary's channel capacity is significantly improved and outperforms conventional transmission schemes. The results also reveal the impact of imperfect CSI on the primary outage performance and the efficiency of the proposed solution for minimising the interference due to imperfect CSI.