There are various approaches to systematically reducing time to implementation of evidence-based interventions in health care. The translational pipeline implies a linear progression from scientific discovery (or intervention development) through to implementation. However, cancer researchers and health professionals from diverse disciplines recognise that more complex issues come into play when considering how research translation can benefit patients, improve the delivery of health care services or drive policy change. During this presentation, I will draw on examples from implementation science and examine frameworks or models that seek to expedite implementation. Broader approaches will then be considered, including interdisciplinary or ‘team science’ endeavours that seek collaborative solutions for a specific issue, such as tobacco control. Programmatic examples from the Australian and international settings will be presented. Broader scale issues about priorities in funding of translational research and policy support for implementation will also be considered.