Steve Lohr did a wonderful job exploring the future of the corporate R&D Lab in his article entitled, The Corporate Lab as Ringmaster. Here are a couple of good thoughts:
So, in the Internet era, what is the continuing role and comparative advantage of the corporate R.& D. lab?
You could substitute almost any organization that acts as an intermediary into the question above and be searching for a way forward.
Steve's answer to the question is a good one:
How can you become more of a ringleader in what you do?