Driving Pediatric Breakthroughs

Rendering of Research and Innovation campus


The breakthroughs at the RIC

The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus (RIC) is a state-of-the-art, award-winning urban innovation ecosystem and the home of the Children’s National Research Institute focused on advancing research and pediatric care. The campus has now served as a destination, convener and host to almost 200 local, national and international conferences, seminars, community events and tours since March 2022, in partnership with our inaugural campus partners Virginia Tech and JLABS@Washington, DC. The RIC catalyzes research and innovation connections with national and international networks, including the Pediatric Brain Tumor Institute hub, which achieved its first-year milestones, and the Pediatric Pandemic Network hub, which has now been fully activated. The RIC is also the DC anchor of the BioHealth Capital Region Hub, which is ranked #3 in the United States.

At the RIC’s 12-acre campus in Northwest Washington, D.C., researchers from Children’s National Hospital work alongside public and private partners in industry, academia, federal agencies and start-up companies to find solutions to some of science’s most vexing challenges. The campus is surrounded by mass transit, open spaces, retail and housing, and is built on deep historic roots in the city as the former home of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

This year, the RIC became the first science ecosystem dedicated to pediatric health to be invited to join the Global Institute for Innovation Districts (GIID). GIID is a network of over three dozen innovation districts worldwide. These integrated, urban, place-based innovation ecosystems are adjacent to sustainable communities that create urban “work-live-play-learn” models. The GIID seeks to “identify how districts transform into new engines of city and regional growth and to identify new systems for advancing inclusive innovation.”

Kerstin Hildebrandt, M.S.H.S., vice president of research administration at the Children’s National Research Institute, said, “We are excited to join this network, to gain insights from others on strategic and tactical approaches to partnership opportunities and how to organize for success to accelerate the development of our campus.”

“We look forward to sharing our best practices, and we want to learn how our national and international colleagues are tackling complex issues,” she said. “For example, we’d like to learn how others are leveraging their assets to improve their responses to health crises, climate change, and other significant challenges that will result in improved communities.”

The RIC is well on its way to becoming a globally recognized ecosystem for pediatric research and innovation.