Developing capacity in any research field requires high quality, and discipline-specific academic leadership. How does one achieve capacity if a certain expertise is not available in house? One approach is through the establishment of ‘Satellite Labs’. These laboratories are creating a link between a host institute and a partner in industry or academia to transfer knowledge and are led by next-generation experts in fields in which the host institute wants to build capacity. In return, the partner can benefit from another field of expertise that might be well developed at the host institute.
Both, the home institution of the research leader as well as the host institution of the Satellite Lab should see potential in the joint venture, adding and not detracting from already demanding schedules and objectives. The host institution should provide quality local administrative and academic support, as well as sufficient seed funding to allow the development of world class projects and capacity in such a unit. The partner commits to providing training and expertise delivered to the host institute in a sustainable manner. Both institutes can benefit not just from the core research area of the Satellite Lab, but also by exchanging graduate and post-graduate researchers that are able to deepen and strengthen the relationship between host and partner.
We currently host three such Satellite Labs in: