If you’re considering working with industry, there are many different organisations and additional sources of information that might be helpful.

Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI)

ABPI is the trade association for over 150 large, medium and small bio-pharmaceutical companies, research organisations and those who have an interest in the pharmaceutical industry in the UK. The ABPI produces information about the extent of investment by the pharmaceutical industry in the UK as well as generic advice to its members and the wider public about regulatory issues. It has developed a code of practice that covers the promotion of prescription medicines to health professionals and administrative staff as well as public facing information on prescription only medicines. The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) has been set up to operate the code at arm’s length from the ABPI.

Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI)

ABHI is the trade association for the medical technology sector, representing a diverse range of manufacturers of medical devices and technologies, as well as affiliated service companies working in healthcare (such as distributors and lawyers). The ABHI has over 200 members, whose combined spend accounts for 80% of the industry’s total output. The Association also seeks to work with patients and patient groups, aiming to increase uptake of new medical technologies and hence increase patient access to important medical innovations.

BioIndustry Association (BIA)

BIA has over 300 members, which are mainly research based biotechnology companies. The Association represents the industry to a broad range of stakeholders, including patient groups, politicians and the media. The BIA achieves this representation by providing an active public affairs programme, events and regular publications aimed both at members and external stakeholders. It also seeks to raise standards within the sector through the dissemination of best practice guidance and advises companies on regulatory matters.

British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA)

BIVDA is a trade body for companies with a major interest and involvement in the in vitro diagnostic industry and represents about 100 manufacturers and distributors active in the UK in this area.


OBN is the membership organisation supporting and bringing together the UK's emerging life science companies, corporate partners and investors. With 240 member companies, OBN offer opportunities for networking, partnering as well as providing advice and advocacy.

Ethical Medicines Industry Group (EMIG)

EMIG is the UK research-based trade association that represents the interests of small to medium-sized Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medtech companies (SMEs). EMIG member companies range from start-ups, whose prime focus is R&D, to highly developed businesses delivering essential products to patients, while continuing to invest heavily in the fight against disease. EMIG has over 200 Members, of which, less than 20% are members of other trade bodies.

National Voices

National Voices is the national coalition of health and social care charities in England. They work together to strengthen the voice of patients, service users, carers, their families and the voluntary organisations that work with them. National voices have 130 charity members and 20 professional and associate members representing a broad range of health conditions and communities. They have produced several reports on working with different organisations with a focus on the involvement of the public in research collaborations.

The Partnering Initiative

The Partnering Initiative aims to deliver effective collaboration across all sectors by providing strategic advice, partnership evaluation, training and capacity building programmes. They have produced toolbooks, case studies and research papers to promote new standards of partnering practice – all of which are freely available to download from their website.

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising Codes of Practice

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising is a professional body representing fundraisers in the UK. The Institute has published a code of fundraising practice to act as a guide to fundraisers on their legal obligations and areas of best practice in fundraising. Although not specific to medical research charities, they do focus on working with corporate partners and this has some useful advice for developing partnerships with industry.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

NCVO represents volunteering across the largest charities to the smallest community organisations to strengthen the voluntary sector. They offer guidance on working with the private sector that some charities may find helpful when developing their collaborations with industry.

Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO)

ACEVO provides support and representation, tailored advice and development opportunities and networking and learning events. ACEVO may be able to offer help and advice to senior members of charity staff who may be interested in building networks with others who are experienced in collaborating with industry.

Regulatory Framework for Medicines, Medical Devices & Healthcare Products and Infrastructure: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) & European Medicines Agency (EMA)

In order to be licensed for use in the UK, all medicines, medical devices and other healthcare products, such as blood and tissue-engineering products, must be approved by the appropriate regulatory authority. UK national approval and licensing is conferred by the MHRA; manufacturers of entirely new medicinal products (i.e. new active substances) must seek EU-wide approval from the EMA.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

NICE is a UK-based independent organisation that provides support and advice to healthcare professionals and others to make sure that the care they provide is of the best possible quality and offers the best value for money. Unlike the MHRA, NICE has no regulatory function. Instead, it seeks to provide advice on the adoption and use of new and existing medicines and health technologies within the NHS. Depending on the type of guidance issued, NHS Trusts are expected to adopt NICE recommendations or take note of its guidance in making decisions.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

NIHR is to maintain a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and public.

NIHR Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN)

A subsidiary of NIHR, the NIHR CRN aims to make it possible for all patients and health professionals across England to participate in relevant clinical trials. It allocates and manages funding to meet NHS Service Support (e.g. additional nursing time; pathology sessions; lab costs; imaging; additional out-patients costs).

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) and Research Units

BRCs and Research Units are funded through open competition on a five-year basis. They are based within the facilities of NHS and university partnerships and aim to translate fundamental biomedical research into clinical research that benefits patients. There are three research unit schemes and each scheme contains individual research units. The overarching schemes are Health Protection Research Units, Blood and Transplant Research Units and Policy Research Units. BRCs are much larger and have broader research themes specific to each centre.

NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs)

CLAHRCs are collaborative partnerships between local universities and the surrounding NHS organisations. They support the translation of research evidence into practice in the NHS by identifying and evaluating new interventions that are effective and appropriate for everyday use in the NHS taking into account the way that healthcare is increasingly delivered across sectors and a wide geographical area.