South West Innovation Exchange

We work with NHS, academia, enterprise, charities, and industry to support innovative solutions which improve lives, quality of care, patient safety and efficiency in the South West.

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.

For more information on our Innovation Exchange activities please contact us here or email

Innovation Exchange opportunities 

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

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.

Pathfinder Webinars – We are hosting a series of webinars over the coming year to bring together innovators, researchers and health and care professionals online for easier knowledge sharing. You can find the latest episodes on our YouTube channel. If you have a story to share and wish to find out more on presenting a webinar with us, please contact us at the address above.

Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) We are supporting the AAC, a government-funded programme to support the rapid uptake of products in the health and care system. Transformational products have been selected and our role is to help you to understand their potential benefits for you and the patients that you provide care for.

Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) South West - We are 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. You can download the DHA South West 2018/19 brochure here.

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, 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 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.

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.