Virtualized Research Ecosystems (VREs) are the future of outsourcing and collaborative working environments. A Virtualized Research Ecosystem is a network of collaborators with specific scientific skills working toward a common goal. A VRE can be compared to an intellectual supply chain, where data moves through a web of relationships in a secure and standardized manner. The demand for outsourced services in complex VREs is expected to grow by over 20% in coming years.
Today many companies have single sponsor/CRO relationships, but they can evolve from these direct linear collaborations and expand their capabilities by moving to VREs. These organizational webs enable timely, scalable, secure networks for data-intense projects across multi-partner research and development communities. The aerospace and automotive industries are prime examples of how multiple organizations can work together to achieve a common goal.
Why a VRE?
A VRE provides an increased competitive advantage by reducing costs and speeding timelines. As the client-supplier relationship becomes more integrated, suppliers become partners in the collaborative process. This group think mentality is enabled by real-time collaboration. When organizations no longer need to resort to email or traditional mail to share documents, the information flow becomes seamless. Project and relationship management becomes easier as calendars, business practices, regulatory issues, and social culture are all curated within the same system.
Creating a Virtualized Research Ecosystem
In order to establish a successful VRE, IT requirements for language, formatting, standards, and growth plans must be determined in advance. Security and infrastructure development are high priorities for establishing VREs. Not all members of the intellectual supply chain (sponsors/CROs/CMOs/universities) need the same amount of access to collaborators and projects, so partner relationships, security levels, and data flow must be determined in advance. However, the system also needs to be deployed in an agile manner to allow the flexibility necessary for future projects.
The Future of Collaboration
As science-based R&D sponsor companies downsize internal efforts and consolidate infrastructure, the demand for VREs will rise, creating new challenges for integration and information management. Virtualization is a trend that breaks traditional informatics models and will radically change IT strategies and traditional modes of operation.
To learn more about market trends, technology and the best practices to address VRE, watch our Virtualized Research Ecosystems Webinar.