About the South West Innovation Exchange

We collaborate with the NHS, academia, enterprises, charities, and industry to support creative, innovative solutions which improve lives, quality of care, patient safety, and efficiency in the way care is provided.

Here at the South West Academic Health Science Network, we focus on improving health and care for people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Somerset in the UK. We work with individuals and organisations who have innovative solutions – such as services, products, or new processes – which can be used to improve the NHS and care systems. We also work with early-stage innovators who have an idea that might require time and resource to reach the market.

Innovation Exchange opportunities 

Serious about large-scale change? Apply for the Spread Academy taking place on 4-7 March 2019 in Exeter. There are a number of funded team places available for the South West region. Application deadline is 10 January 2019. Find out more or join one of our online information briefing sessions; please click on the link to join in (no registration required).

Need a small or enabler grant to support the adoption of innovation in health and social care in the South West? The Innovation Adoption Fund is open for applications with up to £5,000 available through a competitive process. The lead applicant for this fund will be the individual or team seeking to explore or test the adoption of an innovation to benefit the population of the South West of England. Application deadline is 4 March 2019. Visit our web page or email us at innovation@swahsn.com for more information.

The Evaluation Support Application is available to all innovators or adopters who are working to gather the information and evidence needed to enable adoption of innovation in a variety of settings. Rolling deadlines are in place and the next two deadlines are:

  • Tuesday, 25 January 2019
  • Wednesday 8 May 2019

Email us at innovation@swahsn.com for more information.

Market Insight Surgeries are available to all innovators who require additional support for their products or services. These confidential 60-minute discussions provide insight into the NHS and care systems. Book a session on one of the following dates:

  • Friday 25 January 2019
  • Friday 22 February 2019
  • Friday 15 March 2019

Email us at innovation@swahsn.com for more information.

Connection for Innovation: Living a long and healthy life is a joint event with the University of Plymouth. We are bringing together individuals and teams interested in innovation to share and learn to help improve the quality of life for our ageing population. The invitation is open to clinicians/practitioners, students, innovators and anyone passionate about innovation. Register for a ticket free-of-charge now.

Innovation Exchange projects and activities

Are you inspired to improve health and care in the South West through innovation? Find out more about how we can support you.

Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in action. We are supporting the AAC, which is a government funded programme to support the rapid uptake of products in the health and care system. These transformational products have now been selected and our role is to help you understand the potential benefits for you and the patients that you provide care for. Contact us at innovation@swahsn.com for more information.

Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) South West is working with five companies in the South West to provide them and the innovations they are developing with intensive and specialist support. We are one of seven AHSNs working together to deliver regional digital health accelerators. Find out more online and download our brochure now.

Background to the Innovation Exchange

AHSNs support the regional ‘import and export’ of healthcare innovation through our Innovation Exchange.

The Innovation Exchange is an AHSN coordinated approach to identify, select and support the adoption of innovations that improve our economy and patients’ lives.

The Innovation Exchange identifies innovations for the Accelerated Access Collaborative and for local adoption. The Accelerated Access Collaborative is a national partnership of organisations including NHS England, Department of Health and Social Care, Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, NICE, NHS Improvement and the AHSNs.

The Innovation Exchange has four structured elements:

  1. needs definition
  2. innovator support and signposting
  3. real world validation
  4. spread and adoption of supported innovations.

Needs definition 

We support our Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to identify proven solutions to existing challenges.

Innovator support and signposting 

Innovator support is provided by all AHSNs. The Innovation Pathway sets out the range of service offered.  There is a consistent and co-ordinated offer to innovators wherever they are identified in the system.

Real world validation

Real world validation is informed by regional and local need and seeks to provide the information and evidence needed to enable adoption of the innovation in a variety of settings.

Spread and adoption of supported innovations

The Innovation Exchange supports the adoption of innovations identified by the Accelerated Access Collaborative. It also identifies and supports the adoption of innovations on a regional and cross-regional basis.

Find out more about the Accelerated Access Collaborative ‘rapid uptake’ products here.

Funded by the government’s Office for Life Sciences, the Innovative Exchange builds on AHSNs’ unique expertise and cross-sector connections, enabling us to identify common challenges and quickly bring people and organisations together to develop, test and spread proven innovation.