The Plant Cell Institute is the start of a transformation in research. The PCI is the first distributed institute where researchers work on plant cell-inspired solutions to solve today's most challenging problems across the best labs in the world. The PCI aspires to enhance the current development of the extraordinary plant research already conducted across the globe. Consequently, we are proposing to collaborate with existing labs instead of building new facilities, working remotely through a dedicated virtual institute. Data sharing technologies and communication platforms enable scientists to work virtually, and we believe distributed collaboration is the future of effective research. Through its unique coordinated approach, the PCI is committed to accelerating fundamental and applied research on plant cells.