Building Bridges Between: Industry and Academia Manifesto

“The BNA is a key partner in drawing together all interested and committed parties in the UK research space, highlighting the substantial contribution of pharmaceutical industry partners to Neuroscience research and drug development and facilitating the building of strong connections across the broader Neuroscience community. Our collective goal is strong collaboration, rooted in sound scientific principles and driving forward cutting-edge research, to benefit patients with complex neuropsychiatric disorders.” 
Eva Loth, PhD. Reader (Associate Professor) in Psychology, Deputy Director, AIMS-2-TRIALS 


The BNA's Building Bridges Between: Industry and Academia (BBB) initiative aims to broaden the BNA's neuroscience community in the UK to include those active or with a strong interest in the commercial sector. The work helps to establish a bridge between basic neuroscience research, applied research and businesses active within the sector, to promote research development in its most efficient form. We are also aiming to create a career bridge, to support career development for academic and industry members looking to cross over sectors. This initiative also enables us to work together with businesses in science and policy campaigns to improve the impact of neuroscience. Find out more about our Policy and Advocacy work. 

The BBB initiative aims to:

  • Support all members of the neuroscience community and career development for academic members crossing over into industry, and vice versa.
  • Enhance information sharing across neuroscience sectors, increasing credibility and improving translation and research efficiency.
  • Promote the neuroscience community holistically, ensuring all sectors are represented.
  • Engage with industry experts already practicing 'Credibility' in their work to contribute to our work in this area, inviting information exchange between industry and academia. Please see our Tools for Improving Translation page.
  • Connect Industry partners to world leading experts in all fields of neuroscience to support specific areas of interest. To find out more a great example is our Building Bridges along the Psychiatric Drug Discovery Pipeline webinar series 
  • Improve recognition of the role that businesses play in the advancement of neuroscience in the UK and its societal benefit. Find details about our successful neuroscience collaborations
  • Help Industry partners to attract and support the next generation of neuroscientists as prospective employees, and demonstrate the transferability of science. Find out more information about our Scholars Programme, our work to increase EDI, and how you can get involved. 

The initiative began as a result of an under-representation of the commercial sector within BNA memberships. There are many people who have professional interests in neuroscience, without being based in a university or hospital research lab, who were not being reflected in our membership profile. By engaging more meaningfully with non-academic institutions, such as the biopharmaceutical industry, pharma services and professional services, via the BNA's membership and core activities, we are now helping to bridge the gap between fundamental discovery neuroscience, applied research and businesses active in the sector.  

The BBB strategic approach was originally launched at a joint event with the Sainbury Wellcome Centre. The event was a discussion with Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice-President and President Biopharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca and provided a pharmaceutical industry perspective on how to improve translation and collaboration between industry and academia. You can read more about this event in an abridged version of our Autumn 2020 Bulletin. The summary outlines the purpose and critical learnings from the event. 

To get involved in our BBB work please contact Sophie Jerrold at