Today's New Innovation Spaces: Seven Emerging Trends for Research Facility Design

Nanotechnology Lab at MIT

Around the world, organizations are building the next generation of research facilities intended to foster communication, collaboration, and creativity. These facilities run the gamut from relatively small-scale makerspaces to larger, highly regulated pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and specialized high-containment laboratories. But even with these differing purposes and footprints, there is one common denominator: building an innovation space that is effective, successful, and productive involves departure, often significantly, from traditional R&D processes. 

New approaches are required to overcome the complex challenges looming at every stage, starting with site assessment, architectural design, and construction, and continuing all the way through to ongoing maintenance and operation. These hurdles stem from the fact that today’s research facilities are increasingly:

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