South West Innovation Exchange

Our Innovation Exchange is designed to help innovators implement solutions to meet the challenges faced by the health and care system in South West England.

Funded by the UK Office for Life Sciences, we work with individuals and organisations who have innovative solutions – such as services, products or new processes – that can be used to improve the NHS and the care system.

We are an innovation broker. We help innovators understand the needs of our health and care system and support them to build partnerships to improve patient care and generate economic growth.

We also provide signposting for early-stage innovators who have an idea that might require time and resource to reach the market.

COVID-19 innovation challenges

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have shifted our focus to providing intensive support to innovators and innovation that support the aims of the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN)’s three COVID-19 programmes:

We will be launching a series of innovation challenges over the coming months to support collaboration between industry and the health and care sector, to support these programme areas. Further details will follow as these challenges take shape.

how we can support you

We aim to provide appropriate signposting to local services, funding and resources to help move you along the innovation pathway.

Following an introductory call and assessment of your needs, we will aim to connect you to a range of internal support services that may include:

  • Feedback from our Quality Improvement Partner Panels (QuIPPs) programme
  • Advice on spread and adoption of your innovation
  • Information on navigating the health and social care system
  • Guidance from our learning and evaluation team on understanding the benefits of your innovation to the wider health and social care system
  • Connecting you to our contacts and partners with the relevant experience

explore our innovation exchange website

Our Innovation Exchange platform, Pathfinder, is a starting point for any innovator looking to take their innovation to the next stage of development. Here you’ll find case studies of some of the businesses we have worked with and key resources to help you strengthen your business model and value proposition.

If you have an innovation that you would like to implement in the health and care system, please complete the registration form on Pathfinder or email

Click here to view the terms and conditions of our support.

supporting the spread & adoption of innovation

In addition to our signposting service, we have developed a programme of activities designed to support the spread and adoption of new products, services and processes.

EPIC2 –  We are collaborating with the University of Plymouth, Kernow Health CIC and Software Cornwall to build a sustainable eHealth ecosystem in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This includes the EPIC2 Challenge Fund, a £375,000 grant scheme to help bring digital health innovations to market. For more information and details of how to apply, please visit our page.

Innovation Adoption Fund  Our fund supports faster implementation of innovation for improvement in health and care by offering grants of up to £6,000 to voluntary, community and social enterprises, health and care teams, and small businesses across the South West. In March 2020 we repurposed the fund to support innovation with the potential to benefit people in later life, people isolating and people at disproportionate risk of COVID-19. Applications to our COVID-19 Innovation Adoption Fund are now closed.

Resonance Health and Wellbeing Challenge Fund – This fund has been set up with, Resonance, ourselves, Big Society Capital and The National Lottery Communities Fund to support social enterprises that are addressing key issues in society. To learn more please contact

Smartline – We are partnering with the University of Exeter, Coastline Housing, Volunteer Cornwall and Cornwall Council to help businesses develop digital technologies with the potential to improve health and wellbeing in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Spread Academy – The Spread Academy is our immersive training programme delivered in partnership with the renowned US-based Billions Institute, to equip health and care teams and leaders with the skills they need to unleash large-scale change.

QuIPPs – Our Quality Improvement Partner Panels (QuIPPs) are made up of members of the public, patients and staff who have lived experience of the NHS. These panels provide innovators with the chance to obtain feedback and real world validation of their solution, to fine-tune their innovation to make it fit for purpose.


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, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NHS Improvement, and the AHSNs.

The Innovation Exchange offers four core areas of support:

  1. Needs definition
  2. Innovator support and signposting
  3. Real world validation
  4. Spread and adoption of supported innovations.

Learn more about the national Innovation Exchange on the AHSN Network website.

Get in touch

To learn more about our Innovation Exchange or to find out how we can support you, please email