Press Release

Johns Hopkins APL Earns Fifth Straight Selection to Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators List

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has been named by Fast Company as one of the Best Workplaces for Innovators in 2023. This marks the fifth year in a row the Lab has received the award. APL placed 17th among a list of the top 100 innovative companies from around the world. Additionally, the Lab was selected as the Best Workplace for early career innovators.

“At APL, we encourage our staff to be bold and transform their innovative concepts into real-world capabilities that have a significant impact for the nation and the world,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “Our staff members also routinely collaborate across the enterprise to develop novel multidisciplinary solutions to the most complex challenges facing our sponsors.”

APL was recognized for its long-standing culture of innovation that has sparked scientific and engineering advances for the nation since 1942. Most recently, these include DART, the first planetary defense test mission; cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and machine-learning advances; national security contributions from undersea to space; and health care, environmental and climate change breakthroughs.

A critical component of APL’s innovation culture is substantial internal investment for research and development, focused on addressing challenges of importance to the nation. In 2022, more than 300 independent research and development grants were awarded to APL teams with ideas that had potential for significant impact. As a research division of Johns Hopkins University, APL also partners with divisions including the Whiting School of Engineering on initiatives like SURPASS, a joint multimillion-dollar effort to foster continued collaboration and groundbreaking innovation.

APL was selected as the Best Workplace for early career innovators because of the Lab’s emphasis on encouraging all staff members to explore ideas and investigate high-risk and transformational ideas, no matter their level of experience. One way APL accomplishes this is through Project Catalyst, which targets emerging challenges and often results in unexpected positive impacts for sponsors. APL distributed more than 400 Project Catalyst and internal funding awards in 2022.

APL is one of only two companies —​ along with Siemens —​ to be named a “Best Workplace for Innovators” every year since the award’s inception in 2019. The Lab previously appeared on Fast Company lists of top innovative companies for breakthroughs in space and health care, and nine different APL innovations have been honored with World Changing Idea awards.

Developed in collaboration with Accenture, the Fast Company 2023 Best Workplaces for Innovators list ranks 100 winners from nearly 1,000 companies in a variety of industries, including technology, entertainment, marketing, education, health care and many more.