In this contribution we argue that a fluid mosaic organizing is in the need when it comes to develop innovation in a smart environment. Indeed we propose the fluid mosaic organization as a way of smart organizing. Our research focuses on three project-based organizations in order to answer this research question: how research and industry coordinate in a temporary project-based organization? What kinds of project-based organization can better stimulate collaboration and innovation among research and industry towards the effective smart factory’s development? Data have been collected from multiple sources: documents, interviews and participant observation. First results shows that when coordination is strongly based on the hierarchy, it is hard to transfer knowledge, making tricky the innovation development. Instead, when coordination is based on mutual adjustments between partners, the information flow is natural, as well as the knowledge transfer, leading to more flowing processes. However, all these mechanisms are strictly linked and depend also on the cognitive distance between the partners. Particularly, when the distance is low, the leadership style is democratic and coordination is firstly based on mutual adjustment and then standardization, the resulting smart organization takes the form of what we call a “fluid mosaic” drawing on the fluid mosaic concept developed in biology.