Several papers we have studied apply theoretical results from related fields to the solution of practical problems in computer networking. Examples of this are the application of consistent hashing in Chord, the application of network coding in COPE, and the application of cooperative diversity in ExOR.
Generally, I think this sort of thing can be very productive, because it leverages work which has already been done. In order to do this sort of thing it is necessary for researchers in one field to be aware of work done in other fields. Particularly, it is important for researchers in applied fields to be abreast of work in theoretical fields.
I think that can be challenging, to stay abreast of theoretical work going on in related disciplines. It's challenging enough just to stay abreast of your own field. I suppose that is why it is important for researchers to love to read and learn about other people's work, because there is so much of that to do.