ness unit or organization, including their own
customers or the broader research community.
Research is interdisciplinary and global.
The use of open-source technology platforms gives researchers more freedom to communicate and collaborate on real-time discovery successes and challenges, which ultimately
lead to breakthroughs. They can instantly
share information and collaborate with colleagues down the hall, in another building or
with peers across the world.
6. SCIENTISTS THAT UNDERSTAND THE BIG PICTURE
Research environments are integrating more
purposeful reminders of the greater pur-
pose driving an organization’s success. This
includes more deliberate branding of the
workplace environment to communicate how
the research aligns with the organization’s
strategic business objectives and enhances the
lives of its customers.
At GSK’s Research Triangle Park campus,
labs and offices feature dynamic graphics
that highlight how the company’s products
improve people’s health.
7. SUSTAINABILIT Y AS THE NEW NORM
Because research environments require significantly more energy to operate than office
spaces, an emphasis on sustainable design and
Shaping the scientific
workplace of the future
continued from page 31
ingly happening in offices, meeting rooms,
special “project rooms,” videoconferences,
corridors, stairwells and outdoor courtyards.
Organizations with research components
are increasingly expecting their office environments to support their scientific culture in new
and innovative ways. When GlaxoSmithKline
(GSK) renovated its offices in Research Triangle
Park, N.C., the company removed the physical
and visual barriers separating office staff from
researchers and added hubs where cross-func-tional teams can gather and collaborate.
3. SPACE FOR THE COLLISION OF IDEAS
Scientific breakthroughs are more often the
product of teamwork than individual genius.
The scientific workplace of the future will bring
all types of people together in environments
that make it easy for them to see each other, celebrate their accomplishments and share ideas.
To encourage the socialization of ideas at The
Francis Crick Institute, four lab wings called
“science neighborhoods” are arranged around a
village square in which a dramatic, linear atrium creates central collaboration spaces across
multiple communities. As people move through
the building toward strategically located shared
amenities, they encounter each other as well as
quiet “concentrative” spaces for small groups
and open “publish” spaces where they can present achievements in progress.
4. TECHNOLOGY IS UNTETHERING RESEARCHERS
The scientific workplace of the future will have
no boundaries separating people from the technology they need. Advances in instrumentation
and equipment technologies are promoting
more automation, smaller lab footprints, miniaturization and a proliferation of mobile technology and wireless applications. This unteth-ers researchers from their labs, freeing them to
work in a variety of environments while collaborating with virtual teams across the world.
Organizations will continue to reduce costs
by identifying opportunities for more research
activities to occur in environments that use less
energy and cost less to operate. This focus on
maximizing operational efficiencies will accelerate an ongoing shift toward more centralized
“core facilities” shared by multiple work streams.
5. OPEN-SOURCE PLATFORMS FOR
COLLABORATION AND SHARING
The complex problem-solving demands of
research are increasingly requiring scientists to
collaborate with others outside their own busi-
Better, smaller and more sophisticated tools streamline research at KAUST’s labs in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. Image:
Visualization labs create opportunities for global research partnerships at KAUST. Image: Sam Fentress