Together with six other independent contract research companies – laboratories that earn their keep by selling R & D services to outside customers – have banded together to form a trade association. “so that our case does not go by default when competing for government and industrial research contracts along with big government laboratories or Research Associations.”
The new group, known as the Association of Independent Contract Research Organisations (AICRO), had a combined turnover last year in excess of £13 million in contract fees and exported no less than £4 million worth of their services abroad.
The basic rules for AICRO membership seem to be, first, that the contract research company concerned must be British; next that it be independent (not even quasi-government or university owned institutions appear to be eligible); that it should have a minimum staff of around 150 persons and a turnover in excess of £500 000.
The founding AICRO members are the Fulmer Research Institute, Huntingdon Research Centre, Inveresk Research International, Ricardo Consulting Engineers, Robertson Research International, International Research and Development and the Electrical Research Association.