Claudia Tripp and Katie Nelson, Partner at Cadence Science
The collaboration has supported some impactful innovations in recent years. For example, rapid development of a covid vaccine can only be achieved through collaboration.
Through Pfizer's rapid collaboration with BioEntech, the first vaccine was developed. By creating an ecosystem approach to collaboration, Pfizer can quickly connect with external partners to help them develop this revolutionary innovation.
However, cooperation is important not only in times of crisis. There is growing recognition in the life sciences community that an ecological approach is essential to providing the innovative solutions the world needs.
According to innovation expert Arthur Little, “The hyper-collaborative world is based on the fundamental belief that innovation ecosystems, not individual companies, will provide the new solutions that await.
Collaboration and innovation obviously go hand in hand, but there is a third aspect to consider. We must remember that these communities are made up of individuals – the ecosystem is built on talent.
Change of working methods
Across industries, we are seeing significant changes in the way we work and retain talent. For example, 97% of life sciences companies plan to implement hybrid work models in the post-pandemic period. And when employees come to the office or laboratory, they now have certain goals, one of which is to strengthen relationships, expand networks and create important connections. It is important to create an environment where academic organizations meet the needs of employees and where collaboration naturally develops.
This means there is now a golden triangle of community, innovation and employee experience that drives success. How to achieve this?
Cooperation, innovation and creativity in the life sciences
The collaboration boom is changing the way we work. For example, Verizon, IBM and Microsoft are using co-working spaces to support innovation and the exchange of ideas, while Google and Facebook have invested in corporate workspaces. According to a study by Trent University, "Co-working spaces have great potential to promote open innovation." Meanwhile, the Harvard Business Review tracked employees who worked in alternative office spaces and found that they performed better than traditional offices.
Working together has many benefits. Organic networks can be powerful. Intimacy, coffee breaks, and social events encourage quiet conversations. It's natural to work with a professional from another organization through impromptu meetings and discussions that can be conducted from anywhere.
Vacancies can provide the necessary formal and informal exchange between scientists and entrepreneurs. Meetings with researchers and partner networks can help accelerate research development. These relationships can initiate future collaborations and open doors to new funding or launch opportunities.
Communication is not just about generating ideas; This is important for good health. In fact, Ergonomic Trends reported that 83% of people feel lonely after coming to work, and 89% said that the change made them happier. With the advent of remote work, creating a separate space for human connection and interaction is more important than ever. Research at Stanford University shows that teamwork boosts motivation and leads to higher engagement, burnout, and higher levels of achievement. Collaboration "turns work into play," the researchers said.
Creating a unique collaborative ecosystem
Working together is indicative of collaboration and therefore innovation. Life science organizations need dedicated campuses to work together. It is not enough to provide socially designed spaces. First of all, very specialized facilities are needed, from laboratories and cleaning rooms to special storage areas. A skilled operator is needed to design, manage, and maintain the physical spaces required by scientists.
However, the development of cooperative cities is much more than bricks and mortar. For example, a study from the University of Trento shows that events are considered more important aspects of cooperation than space and place because they are "vehicles of cooperation dynamics".
The goal of joint operators is to create the right environment for innovation, which requires deep knowledge of how innovation works, especially in specific areas such as life sciences. Collaborative life science communities need the right environment, the right participants, and the right education to achieve the level of collaboration needed to succeed.
Often, owners and operators provide a place to work together and wait for a community to develop, but building a community is an intentional process.
For example, members of a cooperative must support each other. You need the right mix of organizations in all sectors to have a healthy ecosystem. Start-ups should be from established companies, knowledge institutions and specialized support services such as recruitment or communication.
A strict gate policy is essential for unique co-op campuses to keep potential connections relevant and of high quality. However, in today's innovation landscape, this does not mean excluding other complementary partners. For example, the rise of digital health means that it is becoming increasingly important to connect traditional life science organizations with data innovation startups and AI technologies.
Joint operators should carefully select tenants and external partners to create opportunities for knowledge and resource sharing and collaboration. From R&D partnerships to financial investments, proximity to the right organizations can open doors and spur innovation.
Knowledge-intensive organizations need more than just jobs. They need community and cooperation. The influence of a carefully developed society on scientific progress should not be underestimated. After all, every person is important in society. By providing social spaces where innovation can flourish, we can now offer the best of all worlds through purposeful hybrid work focused on creating collaborative innovations that change lives.