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To support people, organisations and business to understand the value of collaboration and the benefits achieved through collaborative working.


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  • 29 Nov 2021 4:00 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)
    What an 18 months it has been! The UK's life sciences sector has come into its own leading society out of the pandemic, with tremendous opportunities through innovation and collaboration which can be applied for a better future for all.

    The UK has taken the lead with the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, the MHRA being the first regulator to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, vaccinating the first patient, global-leading genomic sequencing, and use of healthcare data that has established treatments saving over a million lives around the world. It is now about bottling the advances that have been made and applying them to the other great health challenges, for the good of all.

    Turning Policies Into Action

    Speaking at this year's 12th Pharmaceutical Industry Network Group (PING) Conference organised by VWV law firm's specialist Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences sector, and held virtually in conjunction with IQVIA and supported by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Pfizer UK's Country Manager and ABPI President, Ben Osborn, shared his inspirational journey and vision around innovation and collaboration over the last two years. Ben emphasised the importance of having a shared mission and direction, healthcare equitable access, understanding the concept of risk and the need to ensure that science is valued at all levels. In reality, innovation is "all about bringing together science, data and technology" whilst keeping the patient at the heart of it all. Ben stated that "there has never been a more exciting time for life sciences and the opportunity to bring breakthroughs to change patients' lives. The Government's 'Life Sciences Vision' gives a bold ambition, so we must all now partner and translate words into meaningful action."

    The UK Government's 'Life Sciences Vision' published this year provides a 10 year blueprint to act as the key driver for sector growth in the 21st century and keep the UK ahead of the field. The Office for Life Sciences Head of Strategy, Alex Mclaughlin, explained that "the Life Sciences Vision sets out how through working in partnership, Government, NHS, the Sector and academia can create real value for industry and better treatments and technologies for patients. It's an exciting time for life sciences, and the UK is uniquely placed to innovate and lead the way. The Government is determined to work with partners from right across the sector to realise the ambitions of the Vision."

    Building on the NHS Long Term Plan with a focus on population health and working with Integrated Care Systems, the NHS can be a driver for innovation. The Innovative Medicines Fund is another committed Government manifesto to fast-track promising new drugs. Meanwhile, repurposing medicines, as was seen with the discovery within the NHS of the use of the steroid dexamethasone to treat COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, shows what opportunities there are. These are areas that Claire Foreman, Director of Medicines Policy and Strategy at NHS England and Improvement, will be focusing on, to explore what can be done through innovation and also through working with what we already have, thus improving the life sciences sector's delivery of treatments for patients.

    Not only is the Government focusing on UK life sciences plans and policies, it is also prioritising rolling over existing international agreements as well as entering into new ones. Deals with Indo-Pacific life sciences relations including Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and Mexico are being prioritised, while new post-Brexit agreements with Australia and New Zealand are now in place. Andrew Howard, Deputy Director for Trade, Regulation and Analysis at The Office for Life Sciences, talked about the UK's priorities in trade deals, as well as the challenges and opportunities for Britain. He mentioned how "the last few years have been a time of great change, but there are many opportunities for Global Britain in life sciences. The UK has a pioneering regulator, leading academia, a single healthcare system and a strong biopharma sector, as well as a coherent vision for the sector that supports exciting new specialist areas. Having built on existing global relationships, we're now fully focused on nurturing new ones."

    Cultivating Scientific Collaboration

    Collaborations have been important for some time, but the vaccination roll-out has shown how collaborations have come of age. There are more happening, with bigger plans and larger projects. Collaboration is key to accelerating the innovations, and allowing people to benefit from each others' strengths by working together. Relationships are key to a successful collaboration. All stakeholders involved must consider the importance of generosity, have a clear structure and code of practice, and shared vision/values, with an ability to trust and be transparent in sharing knowledge and data.

    CEO of the Institute for Collaborative Working, Claire Ward, stated that "the value of structured collaborative working is having a plan that can support organisations to build sustainable relationships. During COVID-19, the pharmaceutical sector has shown the value of working together; the task now is to embed attitudes and behaviours that can sustain long term collaborative relationships across all parts of the industry."

    From an academia perspective, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation at University of Oxford, Chas Bountra OBE, expressed that "we're facing many global healthcare challenges. No one institution has all the necessary expertise or infrastructure or resources. The only way we are going to tackle these is through collaboration - collaboration amongst universities, with industry, with governments, with regulators, with policy makers and with other countries."

    GlaxoSmithKline's Director Academic Liaison, Malcolm Skingle CBE, also mentioned that "I've seen for years that collaborations are the way to go for pharma - whether with others in pharma or with academia. The pandemic has shown the importance of collaborations. The Vaccine Taskforce achieved their incredible feats through collaborating. Working together to get the best skills together has never been more important."

    VWV's Corporate Partner, Richard Phillips, stated "What a great panel session at the PING 2021 Conference on collaboration with inciteful views on how far it has come, with mindset and attitude instrumental in making collaborative working a success. Getting the contract structure right are tremendously important, though, to ensure parties are clear on their roles and objectives and to plan for the future at the outset. There were some great examples of how effective collaboration can be."

    The Role of Health Data in Drug Discovery

    There has been increased importance placed on genomic and real-world health data in the life sciences sector and working creatively together to manage the data in the most effective and efficient way. The diversity of the data is a key challenge, whilst at the same time decreasing health inequalities. The sector needs to get smarter by looking to work with and check cohorts in other countries globally. It is important to gain and maintain the trust and transparency with all involved and bring the public along to help with health data outcomes. UK Biobank has achieved tremendous things by being a global leader in genomic sequencing, and Our Future Health is a good example of an exciting UK health research programme, to bring people together to develop new ways to detect, prevent and treat diseases.

    Professor Joanne Hackett, Head of Genomic and Precision Medicine at IQVIA, highlighted that "the future for data is a game changer - both genomic and healthcare data. However, the key will be making sure the data is well curated in order to achieve the potential."

    Health Data Research UK's CEO, Caroline Cake, explained how "health data research has enabled some of the most important discoveries about COVID-19 and been a key component of the UK's understanding of and response to the pandemic. There is now a fantastic opportunity to build on this momentum and collaboration in the sector to accelerate our work, making large scale datasets safely available for research, to enable discoveries across the spectrum of health conditions, from cancer to rare diseases."

    Founder & CEO of Genomics PLC, Sir Peter Donnelly, commented how "it's 21 years this year since the announcement of the completion of the draft human genome. I'm now really excited that the field has matured so it can have a major impact on drug discovery and healthcare. It's great to see the UK at the forefront of these opportunities."


    The COVID-19 vaccine regulators led by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), have also worked in innovative ways to approve medicines much quicker than normal, while not compromising on assessing safety and efficacy. The MHRA is continuing to build on adopting innovation and be seen as a world leading regulator. Dr Kirsty Wydenbach, Expert Medical Assessor at the MHRA, stressed that "the MHRA ambition is about putting patients first, becoming a truly world-leading, enabling regulator and protecting public health through excellence in regulation and science. Support for innovation is a key part of that ambition. We want to hear from researchers and developers early so we can help them stay on track, and so we can learn and become an even more industry-friendly regulator."

    Summing up the PING 2021

    IQVIA's Vice President, Strategic Planning Northern Europe, Angela McFarlane, stated:

    "What a conference. It's left us in no doubt that our next mission as a life science community is to collaborate on the seven 'Healthcare Missions' in the Government Life Sciences Vision, combining the 'best of British' - our unique health data, our world-leading genomics, transformative real world research and innovation in research. If we embrace a mission-led culture in medicines discovery and access, with collaboration being the new norm the UK could become the life sciences."

    VWV's PING Chair and Partner and Head of Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences sector, Paul Gershlick, concluded:

    "The UK has led the way in so many areas through the pandemic through innovation and collaboration. With a forward-looking life sciences Vision, which gives a clear blueprint for continuing to do that and take a lead in addressing the other great health challenges, including through the strengths of the UK's world class academia, life sciences industry, regulator, and financial centre, Global Britain can continue to be at the hub of leading the way, including in the exciting opportunities through use of health and genomic data."

    Nitin Dahad, Hertfordshire LEP Board Member and Chair, Enterprise and Innovation Board, said:

    "Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is very proud of its long association with this event - it sends out a clear message that Hertfordshire and the UK is a very attractive place for our diverse life sciences industry to grow. The scale of that global ambition and the clear vision for the future was evidenced in today's hugely exciting programme. We are proud to have played our part in bring considerable investment into the county to support the growth of its world-class cell and gene cluster which was celebrated today."

    For more information about the Pharmaceutical Industry Network Group (PING) and Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Law, please contact Paul Gershlick on 07795 570 072 or at

  • 18 Nov 2021 9:06 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    ICW is at the BSi Conference and Awards today at the Park Lane Hotel Piccadily

  • 10 Nov 2021 1:48 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Improving Collaboration with Smaller Businesses

    New international guidance for large organisations just published.

    First published on 9 November 2021 by Clare Naden on

    Large organisations can reap a multitude of benefits when collaborating with smaller businesses, as long as the policies and processes don't weigh the relationship down. A new technical report (TR) has just been published to help bring the best out of the arrangement for all involved.

    ISO/TR 44004, Collaborative business relationship management - Guidelines for large organizations seeking collaboration with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), provides recommendations for large organisations to help them take an agile and balanced approach when working with MSMEs.

    Adrian Miller, Project Leader of the group of experts that developed the guidelines, said MSMEs generally bring more flexibility and agility to a business relationship, making them highly attractive to work with. Yet they are also likely to have fewer resources.

    "Larger organisations tend to have a greater level of management processes, but these could be overwhelming for an MSME if imposed on them, as it tends to drive a way of working that is too onerous and restrictive," he said.

    "ISO/TR 44004 demonstrates how they can adjust their approach to working with smaller businesses, thus enabling both parties to benefit fully from the relationship and produce positive results."

    ISO/TR 44004 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 286, Collaborative business relationship management, whose secretariat is held by BSI, ISO's member for the UK. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

  • 4 Nov 2021 9:55 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    This ICW Flagship course is delivered by Leigh Lawry and supported by Warwick University.

    ICW recommends this course for those seeking to improve their understanding ISO 44001 and are seeking to support application and implementation of ISO 44001 within their organisation.

    The Course will continue to be held at Warwick University campus in Coventry and ICW is please to be able to report that it has been able to maintain the current fee of £2500 +VAT per delegate.

    The course date are as follows:

    7-10 February 2022
    7-10 March 2022
    16-19 May 2022
    13-16 June 2022
    19-22 Sept 2022
    7-10 November 2022

    For further information contact our training Manager Alan Maund on 0203 691 1530 or Click here to book

  • 26 Oct 2021 12:55 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Lord Evans gave the opening address at the 2021 ICW Members Day when nearly a 100 ICW members from all over the country gathered in the great hall of Goodenough College in London for ICW's first in person Members Day since the start of the Pandemic in 2020.

    The theme of the day was Collaboration and the Public Sector.

  • 21 Oct 2021 11:13 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Babcock Australasia is to join the ICW (Institute for Collaborative Working) Australia as an inaugural Executive Network Member and sit on the Institute's advisory board, driving collaborative working across industry as part of a cultural approach to delivering complex programmes and solutions through transparency, mutual support and shared benefits.

    The relationship builds upon Babcock International Group's founding membership of the global ICW - which was formed in the United Kingdom in 1990 - and it combines Babcock's corporate experience of collaboration across its value-chain, with the domain leadership of the ICW.

    Brett Ackroyd, Managing Director of ICW Australia, said, "Together, we will work to achieve our core vision of being the home of collaboration, where good practice is shared and supported with research, experience and training, and building a global community which recognises the development of skills and knowledge of collaborative working practices.

    "Through our community, we will enhance the professional relationships of business, the public sector and wider society to produce greater value in the outcomes for all."

    David Ruff, CEO of Babcock Australasia, said "Collaboration is one of Babcock's core values and it is the foundation of how we connect with our customers, industrial partners and wider stakeholders to deliver outcomes."

    "We are proud to help keep our nation secure, our communities safe and the country moving."

  • 11 Oct 2021 11:54 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    ICW is pleased to announce the publication of ISO 44004 Collaborative Business Relationship Management - guidelines for large organizations seeking collaboration with MSMEs. This guidance standard has been championed by ICW as a valuable addition to the ISO 44000 family and an important partner to ISO 44003 the Guide for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) which is currently the being promoted by ICW executive network companies under the pilot scheme announced earlier this year. The aim of ISO 44004 is to highlight ways in which larger organisations can help to improve accessibility for smaller organisations to mutually benefit from collaborative working.

  • 1 Oct 2021 1:01 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    ICW, ABHI and BSI have issued a joint call to Ministers at the Department of Health and Social Security to engage with industry in building collaboration that will support the supply chain for the NHS. In a letter to Edward Argar MP, the Minister of State for Health, the 3 chief executives - Claire Ward (ICW), Susan Taylor Martin (BSI) and Peter Ellingworth (ABHI) - set out how the organisations had recently worked together on a webinar to promote collaborative working in the health sector and had looked to other parts of the public sector for good practice, notably the MoD. They referenced the increasing focus upon collaboration and collaborative working by the government: "DHSC have stressed the importance of collaboration in the forthcoming Health and Social Care bill, requiring NHS organisations and other parts of public service to collaborate at system level and as local providers. We also note that the recently published Life Sciences Vision has collaboration between the NHS and industry writ large throughout, and that the new MedTech Directorate in your Department is developing its work programme and building its relationship with suppliers."

    They have called on Ministers and officials to meet jointly with the organisations to discuss examples of good collaborative working practice, such as the recently published MoD and TechUK code of practice, which could form a blueprint for the health sector and provide significant benefit to the "NHS, the vibrant UK HealthTech sector and the patients we serve."

  • 28 Sep 2021 12:58 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Keynote address titled

    Collaborative Procurement: Escaping the Bermuda Triangle

    Brief Synopsis

    The construction sector accounts for millions of jobs, billions of spend and huge carbon emissions, and yet the systemic, adversarial inefficiencies identified by the McKinsey Global Institute in 2017 are still the basis for business as usual. Calls for collaborative procurement often disappear into the 'Bermuda Triangle' of idealistic debate, cynical criticism and unrealised good intentions, and we urgently need to break through these barriers. This presentation will explore new collaborative procurement systems, based on the 2020 UK 'Construction Playbook', through which clients and industry are improving value and reducing risks.

    The Institute for Collaborative Working Members Day 2021

    Date: 19th October 2021
    Venue: London House Goodenough College Mecklenburg Square
    London, WC1N 2AB
    Time: 9:30am until 4:00pm

    This high-profile event is for all our members and promises to be both informative and interesting. In the afternoon there will be a round tables session led by each of the SIG Groups. Each attendee will have the opportunity to visit 3 of the tables to hear what the SIG is involved in and discuss with other members the key issues with the group and encourage input into future activities.

    Please remember you are also entitled to bring a guest.

    We are really looking forward to seeing you all again Face-to-Face.

    Numbers are limited so Register Now

    Sponsored by
  • 23 Sep 2021 9:00 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)
    ICW are pleased to announce that Baroness Hilary Armstrong, The Chair of the Public Services Committee in the House of Lords, will be attending the ICW Members Day and giving a keynote address on Collaboration in the Public Sector.

    The Institute for Collaborative Working Members Day 2021
    19th October 2021
    9:30am until 4:00pm

    At London House, Goodenough College, Mecklenburg Square, London, WC1N 2AB

    This high-profile event is for all our members and promises to be both informative and interesting.

    In the afternoon there will be a round tables session led by each of the SIG Groups.

    Each attendee will have the opportunity to visit 3 of the tables to hear what the SIG is involved in and discuss with other members the key issues with the group and encourage input into future activities.

    Please remember you are also entitled to bring a guest.

    We are really looking forward to seeing you all again Face-to-Face.

    Numbers are limited so Register Now

    Sponsored by
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