Increased recognition of the importance of workplace strategies and other facility-related business decisions are preoccupying owners and academics alike. In Finland, the real estate sector has a pressing need to develop a new generation of industry-aware researchers to deal with and resolve matters of strategic value to real estate owners and occupiers. The approach being advocated is a programme of accelerated knowledge acquisition in which information and communications technology will play a key role in delivering learning to a dispersed group of doctoral researchers. Use will be made of an international body of experts backed by recognised centres of excellence. Specific challenges in implementing the programme include agreement on a curriculum that will build on existing academic strength, as well as support the diverse interests of the industry. A multidisciplinary perspective is being adopted to ensure that the necessary research expertise and rigour is accessible to participants in the programme in ways that will encourage greater interaction between the experts and researchers. Formalisation of a new set of core competencies is likely to arise and this is expected to become a major part of the programmeís appeal. The paper will present the arguments for this new approach and discuss the thinking behind the core competencies that will help in developing the next generation of industry-aware researchers. These agents of change will be expected to add impetus to the real estate sectorís need for answers on key issues connected with, amongst other things, risk, value and sustainability