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Collaborative Working in Science and Technology

Published on: 28/01/2019

What is collaborative working?

Collaborative working is the idea of breaking silos down either within a company or between two or more companies to help increase both efficiency and deliver superior products or services.

Collaboration is also an intelligent way to share knowledge and information between teams and make breakthroughs in terms of processes while developing a strong, unified voice. Intersecting knowledge can help encourage a free flow of discussion and ideas, leading to breakthroughs you didn’t realise were capable within your teams.

Strategic collaboration between companies with specialised knowledge can also lead to huge successes. For example, IT companies collaborated with biotechnology companies to create innovations such as fingerprint-based cybersecurity.

What are the best approaches to collaborative working?

There are many ways for companies to work collaboratively either within a company or across companies. This can include working jointly across a range of activities or focusing on a large project which requires more knowledge sharing and creativity from a collaborative team.

Team collaboration is when a team who is working on individual parts of a task but help each other through set timelines, targets and KPIs. This level of collaboration ensures every member of the team has their own set roles and responsibilities, but regularly collaborates and shares with the team as the project progresses.

With community collaboration, members across teams and companies work through a shared interest. This form of collaboration is less formal than team collaboration, based on ideas which can come forward through varying approaches to the same subject.

Another form of collaboration is through innovation networks. These are pairs or groups of teams who share information from their research and development focused teams. This can be across teams focusing on different aspects of product or service development or across companies.


Why is collaborative working becoming increasingly important?

As work grows increasingly siloed, automated and process-led, collaborative working can lead to insightful moments as knowledge and viewpoints are shared between teams and companies. Collaboration can lead to integrated approaches where everyone works to their strengths.

A collaborative approach can also provide a competitive advantage, as good practices turn into best practices based on multiple insights. Sharing viewpoints from across a wider geographical and demographical reach can both provide a better informed overview, alongside opening the door for new talent.

Lessons can be learned and shared for both successes and failures, meaning any experimentation can see wider benefits.

Why does collaborative work help science and technology companies?

Though many enjoy working individually, being our own support systems can sometimes lead to a slow down in productivity or new ideas. Collaboration creates a supportive environment where individuals can gain confidence and share their own insights.

Computers and technology have made work more isolated as many science and technology employees learn on their own terms. The element of interaction can be missing, and companies can lose the benefits of sharing knowledge with each other.

No ‘solo brainstorm’ has ever been as successful as a group finding new ideas through conversations and idea sharing!

Collaborative working at Milton Park

Milton Park is home to some of the most innovative and exciting companies in the science and technology sector, thriving in biotechnology, engineering, pharmaceuticals, software development and more.

We also provide facilities for companies of a variety of sizes, from start-ups packed with new ideas based in our innovation centre through to companies with a global reach.

We want to encourage collaboration between our occupiers as we believe great things can happen when we collaborate.

We host events such as Mingle at Milton and regular educational seminars to provide our occupiers with the opportunity to network and seek opportunities for collaboration on the park.


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