But simply putting researchers and clinicians in the same building with hopes that serendipitous collaborations will ensue will often not yield the outcomes organizations seek. Based on our experience, we have found that success often depends on building an open innovation ecosystem—a living lab that integrates concurrent research and innovation processes with patient care. This takes traditional translational health science environments to new levels by making them more permeable and better capitalizing on inter- and intra-disciplinary approaches within and outside of the organization. These ecosystems are not only optimized to support health and research collaborations but partnerships with academia, foundations, pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, start-ups and more.
Although the ways people capture knowledge and convert it to answers will always be complex and varied, we have developed six key strategies established through precedent and research that create consistent interaction and knowledge exchange within these new translational environments. This paper introduces those strategies and demonstrates how thoughtful architecture, interior design and workplace strategy can support big breakthroughs in translational health science.