A new study shows that when researchers share a building, and especially a floor, the likelihood of forming new collaborations and obtaining funding increases dramatically. The findings have wide relevance to corporations, as well.
"Our analyses clearly show that there are benefits to co-location," said Jason Owen-Smith, an associate professor of sociology and organizational studies.
Researchers who occupy the same building are 33 percent more likely to form new collaborations than researchers who occupy different buildings, and scientists who occupy the same floor are 57 percent more likely to form new collaborations than investigators who occupy different buildings, he said.
[...] passive contacts between inhabitants of a building -- just bumping into people as you go about your daily business -- makes it more likely that you'll share ideas and eventually engage in formal collaborations. This assumption is based on the work of ISR researcher Leon Festinger, who studied the friendships that developed among dormitory residents in the 1950s.