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Life Sciences Industry

HSC R&D Division acts as a contact point for any industry wishing to engage in research with the Health and Social Care Sector in Northern Ireland.

HSC R&D Division works closely with the HSC Trusts and Universities in Northern Ireland as well as the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry NI (ABPI) and InvestNI.

Please direct all general correspondence to: HSC R&D Division

Tel: (028) 9536 3490


This 'clickable' diagram shows the Capability for Life & Health Sciences Research in NI.

If you open the diagram below (by clicking on the image) then you can access information and websites of the different parts of the infrastructure by clicking on each element.






MATRIX, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, is a business led expert panel, formed primarily to advise government, industry and academia on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology in Northern Ireland.

By its very nature most of this work is medium to long term –  looking forward to what technologies we can exploit over the next two, five and ten years. MATRIX is helping to champion the role of science and technology as one of the key drivers of economic growth in Northern Ireland.

The MATRIX Life & Health Sciences Capability and Foresight Report was launched at the Titanic Building on Thurday 05/02/2015 by DETI Minister Arlene Foster, DHSSPS Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly and UK Life Sciences Minister George Freeman.

This report provides a breakdown of Northern Ireland Life and Health Capability and suggests that there is a significant opportunity to grow Northern Ireland’s economy and address increasing health requirements if businesses, government and universities worked together more closely.

To download a copy of the report go to:



Following an Industry Event in September 2014 hosted by a partnership of HSC R&D Division, ABPI NI Innovation GroupHSC InnovationsQueen's UniversityUlster University and InvestNI and attended by scientific and medical personnel from a number of global pharmaceutical companies, it was agreed that an Clinical Innovation Collaborative should be established in NI.

The aim of the collaborative is to capitalise on the energy and enthusiasm, generated at the September meeting and bring together key stakeholders involved in research related to HSC in order to drive forward industry sponsored clinical research in Northern Ireland. In particular the forum will include representation from each of the organisations listed above but also an Industry link and a number of leading clinical researchers in NI.

A further industry event - Clinical Innovation Conference was held in 2016 with the theme of "Precision Medicine"

For more information please contact Dr Julie McCarroll, Programme Manager, HSC R&D Division



The NIHR Translational Research Partnerships (TRPs) bring together expert investigators from leading academic and NHS centres to support collaboration with the life sciences industry in early and exploratory development of new drugs and other interventions.

HSC R&D Division provides funding to support NIHR Translational Research Partnerships (TRPs) which has investigators in Northern Ireland (NI)

TRPs combine the finest minds and capabilities in the UK’s leading academic and NHS centres into a single structure. They create a unique life sciences industry resource to drive collaborative translational research in defined therapeutic areas, address unmet medical needs and take on the challenges of an evolving drug, device and diagnostic development model.

NI investigators are members of the UK Inflammatory Respiratory Disease Translational Research Partnership (TRP), which includes clinical trials in asthma, allergy, COPD, respiratory infection.

The TRP is a partnership between Queen’s University Belfast, Centre for Experimental Research and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust which facilitates partnership working with individual biopharmaceutical, device and diagnostic companies to drive research in the early and exploratory development of new respiratory drugs and other interventions.

The goal is to translate advances in laboratory and experimental research into improved lung health for individuals and the population as a whole. Each TRP comprises nine centres of research excellence which have been selected to work together based on their proven ability to deliver in experimental medicine and translational research.

The Belfast Centre, supported in part by HSC R&D Division, has consistently performed at a high level, providing significant opportunities to work with pharmaceutical companies and for HSC service users to participate in clinical trials.  As members of a TRP, each centre has committed to work with industry through the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI), their consistent, single point of contact. In the Belfast Centre, expertise in technology is available for clinical trial and biomarker assessment which are major enabling technologies for early phase clinical trials. These are undertaken with a local contact research organisation, Celerion, who provide the context for healthy volunteer and early patient studies in collaboration with CII investigators, who contribute academic leadership and in their GCP lab.

This is supported in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust through the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (funded by HSC R&D Division), with a clinical trial group with 7 WTE study co-ordinators. This allows the efficient effective delivery of clinical trials bridging from phase II and phase III and has established Belfast as one of the most active and dynamic clinical trial sites in cystic fibrosis.  In part, the TRP activity has been instrumental in the recent success of this team in securing a major €50m EU award under the Innovative Medicines Initiative.

For more information please visit:



Invest NI provide a company directory on Northern Ireland’s Life Science and Connected Health Sectors.

Click on the images below to go to the Invest NI Website:


      Life Sciences Sector                                          Connected Health Sector