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Global real estate giant Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services has launched a collaborative, virtual research and development laboratory, the company announced at its annual convention in Austin, Texas, this week.

The venture, Prudential Real Estate Collaborative Innovation Partnership (PRECIP), will be a "collaboratory," or virtual lab "without walls," to marry the expertise of outside technology companies and the Prudential Real Estate network, the company said. Owned by Prudential Financial Inc., the network has about 60,000 sales associates and about 1,700 offices.