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This Week in Science: Aug 30, 2013

In Science Translational Medicine this week, two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology call for greater focus on improving collaborations between different stakeholders in biomedical innovation in an effort to combat "consortium fatigue." Although there is a growing interest in initiatives between various pharmaceutical and academic entities, "little research has been conducted to assess the effectiveness of these alliances or to identify successful characteristics that can be applied to future ones," Magdalini Papadaki and Gigi Hirsch write. As a result, stakeholders increasingly experience frustration with perceived redundancy, lack of productivity, and "sense of chaos in the evolution of the collaboration landscape." To address this, future alliances need to be evaluated with the same rigor as other critical enablers of translational science, they argue. "The science of collaboration will provide the foundational tools and methods we need to expedite our learning and enable the full exploitation of this powerful collaboration model in the face of emerging challenges and opportunities," Papadaki and Hirsch add.