Andrew Blake Tribute Award

The Andrew Blake Tribute Award commemorates the work and life of Andrew Blake, who in 1990 founded the charity Seriously Ill for Medical Research. Andrew suffered from Friedrich’s ataxia, a hereditary condition described as one of the “worst of neurological diseases”. Andrew died in May 2002 aged 39.


Andrew was passionate about the need to support scientists in their work and his commitment to speaking out against animal rights activists took up much of the last ten years of his life. He died shortly before he was to collect his MBE.

The story behind ABTA


Seriously Ill for Medical Research campaigned very effectively on behalf of scientists working in medical research for fifteen years. It attracted the support of a wide variety of opinion formers from the world of politics, business and entertainment, as well as from science.


Through lobbying and media work it was able to present a strong and reasoned argument that society as a whole had a responsibility to support and defend scientists and laboratory animal technicians supporting their work. It articulated powerful arguments, based in scientific fact, against unreasonable and unfounded accusations of cruelty in animal research. In part it was effective because Andrew Blake worked tirelessly to win the active support of people who were seen as unbiased and trustworthy.


The charity was wound up in 2006, by which time Government was seen to have taken effective steps against extremists. Although he did not live to see it, Andrew Blake succeeded. His work helped achieve better policing, stronger legislation and increased funding from Government to protect scientists and research organisations.

The Award


In recognition of Andrew’s commitment to animal welfare; The Andrew Blake Tribute Award is presented by the Institute of Animal Technology and sponsored by The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (the ABPI) to an animal technologist judged to have made a significant contribution to improving laboratory animal welfare. 


The Andrew Blake Tribute Award is awarded annually, where sponsorship allows, to the animal technologist judged to have made the most significant contribution to improving standards in laboratory animal welfare over the previous twelve months.


The award is made to acknowledge the professional and personal commitment of animal technologists to improving standards in all aspects of laboratory animal care and welfare.

The Award comprises:

  • a free invitation to attend IAT Congress

  • an engraved glass plaque

  • a £250 cash award


The winning entry will be reported in IAT ‘Bulletin’, the appropriate IAT Congress Handbook, and on the IAT website. It may be published in the IAT Journal ‘Animal Technology and Welfare’, it will be circulate to ABPI members and with the agreement of sponsor and winner, be promoted to reputable to scientific colleagues and reputable scientific media.

Our Sponsors


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.


Research using animals plays an important role in our industry's research and development of new medicines. The ABPI therefore supports research using animals where alternative methods are not available, where the potential benefits to health are compelling, and where acceptable ethical and welfare standards can be met.


The sector is strongly committed to the 3Rs and takes its responsibility for the animals in our care extremely seriously, and animal technologists play a central role in this work

How to Apply


The topic of work that you describe in your application may be undertaken as part of project and presented as a poster / an essay / a project / a scientific paper.


The submission, which should contain the content detailed in the Submission Guidelines, should be submitted online via the link below.​


To allow others to be able to replicate the work, please consult the ARRIVE guidelines


Submit your entry online