When Experts Collide: Driving Cross-Cutting Innovation in Biological Imaging and Informatics

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL21B (San Jose Convention Center)
Hundreds of pioneering biologists, spatial image analysts, programmers, artists, and educators applied for one of 25 spots in the NSF Innovations in Biological Imaging and Visualization Ideas Lab (IBIV), which convened in rural Virginia in May 2010. This first solo NSF Ideas Lab had its genesis in “sandpits” organized by U.K. research councils. The Ideas Lab cooperative competition approach is a radical departure from standard research solicitations, designed to catalyze innovative high-risk, high-reward collaborations tackling intractable research problems through interdisciplinary approaches. Going in, attendees were unaware that five days later they would emerge with new visions, new research partners, and a possible stake in a high-risk collaborative research proposal. Over the next four years, the winning teams struggled to collaborate across disciplines, institutions, career tracks, jargons, cultures, and geography to chart potentially transformative pathways in areas as diverse as super-resolution microscopy, intelligent machine image analysis, urban ecology, citizen science, fetal heart development, and fossil pollen identification, while providing exceptional cross-cutting student training. In this symposium, IBIV-funded investigators present their teams’ inventions and findings plus stories about how such unanticipated collaborations can evolve and thrive, and NSF Ideas Lab organizers provide context and lessons learned.
Carol Lynn Alpert, Museum of Science
Carol Lynn Alpert, Museum of Science
Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, University of Puerto Rico and Andy Burnett, KnowInnovation Inc.
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