Most Successful R&D Characteristics

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Most Successful R&D Characteristics

Some key characteristics shared by the most successful research and development labs around the world include a centralized focus on human experience based innovations, the collaboration of the company's clients and staff in their innovation strategies, and the utilization of company partnerships. You will find a deep dive of our research below.


Our research utilized the 65 Corporate Innovative Labs list by CB Insights to identify the top research and development labs. The labs on the list are prioritized by their idea productivity. We then researched each of these labs to identify the key characteristics attributing to each of their success. After analyzing all the labs in this report, we compiled an analysis of the three characteristics that were commonly noticed.

hp labs

The research & development team at HP Labs posses a centralized focus on avoiding the Digital Darwinism curve. They achieve this through a process that has been coined "reinvention". The lab maintains focus on the future of their innovations in intervals of 10, 20 and 30 years. Their primary concerns regarding the future involve innovations in 3D printing, immersive computing and Artificial Intelligence.

at&t labs advanced technology

A unique characteristic noticed at the AT&T lab is the Innovation Pipeline (TIP). The team utilizes crowdsourcing technology to generate and collect ideas from employees all over the company. This research & development lab is also interested in the future of artificial intelligence. This focus on AI might also be attributed to the United State's 68% domination of global spending in this market.

one market center

The One Market Center is responsible for research and development done for Visa clients. The center was designed with its emphasis on increased collaboration between Visa and it's clients. The primary job for research & development staff is to solve personalized and complex issues that their business clients face.

Coca-cola's development & innovation lab

Coca-Cola has a centralized lab dedicated to research and development in Atlanta, GA. A satellite lab with 20 technicians from the company staffed there, is supplying critical data for researchers. The lab benefits from the location of their satellite at the Georgia Tech University. Along with Coca-Cola there are teams from other companies such as Starbucks and Panasonic. The proximity to each other allows for research teams to create beneficial partnerships.

Skunk works (lookheed-martin)

Lockheed-Martin has one of the leading research and development labs in the automotive & aerospace industries. The characteristic of their research & development process that stands out the most its emphasis on speed without sacrificing quality. The Founder of the company operated on a motto of "quick, quiet, quality". The efforts of Lockheed-Martin was first recognized when they designed the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star in 143 days.

The mayo clinic center for innovation

A team of 60 researchers working on innovation in the delivery of health services was mandated to think differently about healthcare in their work. The Mayo Clinic is focusing all of its innovation efforts on "human-centered"goals. Another unique characteristic of their labs are the movable walls that can also be written on and the sticky-note covered wallpaper. According to the Administrator of Research & Development at The Mayo Clinic, this decor is designed to inspire human-centered innovation.

ipg media lab

IPG Media Lab is dedicated to the Media Industry. They focus on audience engagement for their client's products. The researchers work through the development of relationships with partners in their industry. The innovations that are central to IPG Media involve the fight for home intelligence dominance (Alexa,Google,Etc.) and wearable technology.

deloitte analytic

The Delloitte Analytic Research & Development Lab is focused on the Consulting & Advising Industry. They have attributed their success to their reliance on the proven science of analytics. They achieved success by developing methods of allowing their clients to present their unique needs directly to their research & development team. This has allowed the identifying key takeaways stage in the research evaluation process to be expedited.

Southern company energy innovation center

The mission of the research & development team at Southern Company is to explore the innovation of clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy. A key notable characteristic of their success is the utilization of business partnerships. Their future relies on the increased consumption of electricity therefore, they seek to increase the electric usage of products developed by partner companies. This practice is integrated into their innovation goals.

Marriott pop-up innovation lab

A new form of product and service beta testing as well as innovation study is being done my Marriott in their Pop-Up Labs. They are using mock hotel models to get real time user experience feedback. They also perform beta testing of certain concepts concerning beverages and communal area projects.

common characteristics

Among the most successful research & development labs that we have researched, there are three key characteristics that several of them share. The first is the centralized focus on human experience based innovations. The second characteristic is the collaboration of the company's clients and staff in their innovation strategies. The last characteristic noticed is the utilization of company partnerships. The research & development teams utilize their business partnerships to advance their innovation initiatives. It is essential to have partnerships in order to be successful in any industry.


We have concluded that it is essential for research and development labs to develop and utilize partnerships with businesses. Labs like the Southern Company Innovation Center and The Mayo Center for Innovation are utilizing human-centered innovation strategies. Success was noted at the Marriot Hotel's Pop-Up Innovation Labs.