UK Life Sciences Industry welcomes launch of Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland

Today, 4 June, sees the unveiling of the UK’s newest life sciences asset, Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI) at a BIO reception in Philadelphia hosted by the UK Department for International Trade, Invest Northern Ireland, the Welsh Government, BIA, AstraZeneca and the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. It will be followed by a formal launch event on 5 June at the Union League of Philadelphia from 08:30-10:00 EST. 

HIRANI is a new collaboration between academic, local government, clinical and life sciences constituencies to deliver the health and wealth potential of Northern Ireland’s thriving life sciences ecosystem.  It will act as a voice for health and life sciences, enabling the sector to collectively promote itself nationally and internationally.  It will drive collaboration and connectivity across the sector and provide a single front door to external collaborators seeking to partner with the region.

Welcoming the news, ABPI Chief Executive Mike Thompson said: “Northern Ireland has long punched well above its weight in terms of life sciences innovation, particularly in the fields of respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer. 

“HIRANI will make it easier for its network of universities, industry, and health organisations to work together to achieve improved health and social care outcomes for Northern Ireland’s 1.8 million residents, as well as sustained economic growth for the region. 

“We look forward to playing an active role in partnering with HIRANI as we have in Greater Manchester, where a similar model has delivered 41 new life sciences collaborations over just two years.”

ABHI Chief Executive Peter Ellingworth said: “We are delighted that HIRANI will provide the infrastructure to ensure that the life science community can work as a collective within Northern Ireland to then raise its profile internationally and play its leading role in global collaboration.” 

BIA Chief Executive Steve Bates said: “By bringing together health care providers, research bodies, companies and supply chains, HIRANI will be ideally placed to identify and champion the exciting opportunities within the Northern Ireland life sciences ecosystem. 

“This is further proof of the thriving life sciences sector in Northern Ireland and shows the diverse strength of the UK life sciences sector as a whole, where our global strength is underpinned by a world class research base and where innovative companies are working at the forefront of pioneering treatments for patients, across the nations of the UK.”   

Media enquiries

ABPI Press Office

Telephone (24hrs): +44 (0) 20 7747 7147 

BIA Press Office 

Media Relations and Communications Manager, Jack Fellows, 0207 630 2196 or 07825 942 934. Email 

ABHI Press Office

Contact Jonathan Evans +44 (0) 7841731968, email: 

About the ABPI 

The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients.  We represent companies who supply more than 80 per cent of all branded medicines used by the NHS and who are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome disease.

Globally our industry is researching and developing more than 7,000 new medicines. 

The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.​​

About the ABHI 

The Association for the British Healthtech Industries (ABHI) is the UK’s leading industry association for health technology (HealthTech).

ABHI supports the HealthTech community to save and enhance lives. Members, including both multinationals and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), supply products from syringes and wound dressings to surgical robots and digitally enhanced technologies. We represent the industry to stakeholders, such as the government, NHS and regulators. HealthTech plays a key role in supporting delivery of healthcare and is a significant contributor to the UK’s economic growth. HealthTech is now the largest employer in the broader Life Sciences sector, employing 127,400 people in 3,860 companies, with a combined turnover of £24 billion. The industry has enjoyed growth of around 5% in recent years. ABHI’s 300 members account for approximately 80% of the sector by value. 

About the BIA 

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. For further information, please go to and