Research-networking tools use data-mining and social networking to enable expertise discovery, matchmaking and collaboration, which are important facets of team science and translational research. Several commercial and academic platforms have been built, and many institutions have deployed these products to help their investigators find local collaborators. Recent studies, though, have shown the growing importance of multiuniversity teams in science. Unfortunately, the lack of a standard data-exchange model and resistance of universities to share information about their faculty have presented barriers to forming an institutionally supported national network. This case report describes an initiative, which, in only 6 months, achieved interoperability among seven major research-networking products at 28 universities by taking an approach that focused on addressing institutional concerns and encouraging their participation. With this necessary groundwork in place, the second phase of this effort can begin, which will expand the network's functionality and focus on the end users.