Despite the rapid growth in research and R&D expenditures, the translation of research into practice is limited. One approach to increase the translation and utilization of research is practice based research networks. With the aim of strengthening evidence-based practice (EBP) within occupational health services in Sweden (OH-Services), a practice-based research network (PBRN-OSH) was developed. The PBRN-OSH includes researchers and representatives from end-users. This paper reports on the development, outputs and lessons learned in the PBRN-OSH. The PBRN-OSH resulted in several practice-based research projects as well as different measures to ensure EBP in OSH such as the governmentally sanctioned national guidelines for the OH-services. Moreover, results show that the competence in EBP increased among practitioners at the OH-services. Conducting research in a PBRN is more resource demanding; however, this does not imply that it is less cost effective. To succeed in increasing the utility of research findings via PBRN, resources must be invested into an infrastructure that supports collaboration in the PBRN, including costs for a variety of means of dissemination. Further, translation activities need to be included in academic career paths and reward systems if a major improvement in the impact and return of investments from research is to be expected.