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Less Traveled Paths Key to Innovation in Lab Design and R&D.

Success often requires some out-of-the-box thinking.

That was the mindset at CJ Blossom Park, the uniquely designed laboratory in Suwon, South Korea that was named the 2018 Laboratory of the Year at this year's Laboratory Design Conference, held April 23-25, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA.

The design of CJ Blossom Park is rooted in the 'New Scientific Workplace' concept--a radical design approach that replaces traditional laboratory planning ideas with integrated innovation strategies to create dynamic, boundary-less environments that increase productivity, efficiency and creativity. This means that in addition to its cutting-edge laboratory environments, CJ Blossom Park includes nearly 50 different spaces--from cafes and coffee shops to lounges, fitness areas, sleeping pods and even an interior living forest. This helps people who are doing very intensive, focused work find balance and continue to push discoveries and progress forward without getting burned out

Also recognized at the Laboratory of the Year Awards was the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building at Metropolitan State University of Denver, which was honored with a 2018 Laboratory of the Year Special Mention.

This facility also pushes the boundaries of what is expected of a typical laboratory, as it was designed specifically with a community-centered atmosphere to attract a wide range of future industry partners. This unique design offers fantastic opportunities for the students, as well as those in industry, beyond what the university would typically be able to provide.

For example, a distributor of advanced manufacturing equipment agreed to a partnership with MSU Denver where the distributor will continually re-stock the lab with its most current equipment in exchange for permission to utilize the lab as a showroom. Large windows were therefore included in the design plan, so that the distributor can demonstrate the equipment to its clients while it is in action.

Out-of-the-box thinking is critical not only in laboratory design, but in scientific endeavors throughout R&D.

In this issue of R&D Magazine, we've featured several R&D leaders who are taking chances with pioneering approaches in their distinct fields.

Matthew Clark, PhD, of Elsevier R&D Solutions, shares his vision of a chemistry research environment where machines augment and enhance the work being done by human experts. He feels that deep learning and artificial intelligence, if properly deployed, can radically reduce costs and resource use for researchers.

Also in this issue, Bradford Goldense, of the Goldense Group Inc., shares his unique vision for the future of R&D management He proposes the adoption of a new metric for R&D productivity--pioneered by Anne Marie Knott--known as "Research Quotient," a mathematically-based alternative to consider when setting R&D budgets.

Thomas Brutnell, PhD, of the Enterprise-Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, tackles the energy crisis in a less conventional way.

His team is utilizing high throughput phenotyping, computational biology and genome editing tools like CRISPR/Cas9 to custom design the next generation of bioenergy crops that are both efficient and more sustainable. In this issue, he outlines why the ancient, but lesser known grain, sorghum, may be the key to creating a sustainable biofuel economy.

These are just a few of the researchers taking less traveled paths to achieve success. While the more conventional path may certainly be easier, it is clear that true innovation in R&D, as well as laboratory design, requires stepping out of the comfort zone.

Laura Panjwani

R&D Magazine Editor
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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Author:Panjwani, Laura
Publication:R & D
Date:Jun 1, 2018
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