Our Industry and Innovation team provides support to innovators, start-ups and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) working in the health and life science sector across the West of England region and beyond.

We work closely with our member organisation to identify local needs and priorities in the healthcare industry. This information, combined with our large network enables us to reach out to companies through open innovation challenge pathways to provide solutions.

Alongside partners, we have received funding from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to create bespoke business support programmes. These programmes are designed to help innovators and SMEs to develop and commercialise innovative products and services that have the potential to improve and transform healthcare.

You can learn more about our regional programmes below:


Mental health mentoring scheme challenge

The South of England’s Mental Health Collaborative (MHC)  is looking for community-led organisations who can lead a unique mentoring scheme, matching people with lived experience of mental health services with healthcare professionals. The new ‘Mentoring by Experience’ service will be co-produced in partnership with the MHC, in order to deliver an experience-led mentoring scheme for National Mental Health Safety Improvement Leads. The scheme will promote an opportunity for people with lived experience to take part in every stage of delivering this important programme, ensuring our work is expertly informed and supporting a genuinely co-produced approach. 

If you would like further information about the tender opportunity, please contact James.McMahon5@nhs.net


West Net Zero Challenge

A regional call looking from the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and the Health Technology Hub based at the University of the West of England  to support innovators with innovations that could contribute to the NHS’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. We are seeking those that have either new sustainable innovations or already existing products that can be adapted to help the NHS lessen its environmental impact, in line with its ambition of having ‘net zero’ emissions by 2040.

Support offered: Targeted support from the expert teams at Health Technology Hub and the West of England AHSN Industry and Innovation programmes

Stage of innovation: New market ready sustainable innovations or already existing products that can be adapted

Open to: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with sustainable innovations in the West of England

Application process: Online application form

Application deadline: Closed


Domiciliary Care Workforce Challenge

A national call looking for innovative solutions that are ready to adopt and spread to support the domiciliary social and health care workforce in the areas of supply, skills, leadership, new ways of working or new roles

Support offered:There is a maximum of £100,000 (including VAT) available to support the spread and adoption and fund innovator and host activities.

We have not determined how many innovations will be selected. This will depend on the quality of proposals against agreed criteria. This budget will be used to support up to four solutions depending on costs.

Stage of innovation: on the market
Open to: This is a national call to companies who are capable of supplying their product or service on a commercial basis and is not suited to those currently in the research and development stage.
Application process: Online application form, followed by ‘Dragon’s Den-Style’ virtual selection panel

Application deadline: closed


Health Innovation Programme 

19, 20, 22, 23 & 26 September, online, half-days

Many entrepreneurs find the NHS business landscape difficult to navigate – that’s why we’ve created a training programme specifically addressing the needs of healthcare innovators and covering core skills in entrepreneurship.

Support offered: an intensive, fully-funded, business development course, our Health Innovation Programme has been running since 2015, delivering high quality coaching, mentoring and personal development support

Stage of innovation: Innovative business propositions that have real potential for health and care. This could be a product or service already in development or simply the germ of an idea but the concept must be realisable into a sustainable business model/proposition and you will need to be genuinely passionate about taking your proposition forward.

Open to: Priority will be given to applicants employed in the West of England AHSN & South West AHSN geographical boundaries which covers Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly. Applications from Wessex & KSS AHSN geographical boundaries will also be considered.

Since the programme’s inception in 2015, over 124 ‘HIPsters’ have benefited from this specialist support. Feedback on the programme has been overwhelmingly positive and it’s seen as a valuable milestone in founder’s innovation journeys.

But don’t just take our word for it – in our latest blog we hear from one of our innovators, Carey McClellan, about how the West of England AHSN helped him with early ownership of his idea, and what our Health Innovation Programme (HIP) taught him.  You can read it here.

Next programme: 19, 20, 22, 23 & 26 September, online, half-days

Application deadline: 11 July 2022

Find out more and apply.


Health Tech Accelerator Programme

This programme supports small and medium-sized enterprises in the West of England region develop new products or services for the health and life science sector.

Support offered: mentoring and business support (including planning and strategy, financial advice, market research, IP advice and bid writing); sector specific expertise; networking & academic/ industry collaboration opportunities

Stage of innovation: any
Open to: start-ups and SMEs based in the West of England who are looking to further develop novel products or services for the health and life science sector
Application deadline:
 ongoing


Free learning about Quality Improvement (QI) in healthcare

Explore new and better ways of organising health and social care services to improve quality with this free CPD-certified course.

This is a free, six week course developed and delivered by the West of England AHSN and University of Bath. Join hundreds of healthcare staff from around the world who have benefited from this training.

Stage of innovation: any
Open to: NHS staff in the West of England region
Application deadline:
N/a – course available year-round

____________________________________________________

SBRI Healthcare Integrated Care and Social Care Challenge

**Applications are now closed**

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is an NHS England funded initiative led by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) to develop technology solutions for known healthcare challenges.

Support offered: up to £100,000 funding for phase one (feasibility) and up to £1 million for phase two (development) for solutions that match the needs of the NHS

Stage of innovation: ready to launch
Open to: all organisation that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution
Application deadline:
closed


SBRI Healthcare Cardiovascular Challenge

**Applications are now closed**

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is an NHS England funded initiative led by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) to develop technology solutions for known healthcare challenges.

Support offered: up to £100,000 funding for phase one (feasibility) and up to £1 million for phase two (development) for solutions that match the needs of the NHS

Stage of innovation: ready to launch
Open to: all organisation that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution
Application deadline:
closed


Swindon & Wiltshire Health and Life Science Innovation Hub

**Applications are now closed**

The Innovation Hub supports small and medium-sized enterprises in the health and life science sector to bring healthcare innovations to the market.

Support offered: a range of business support opportunities, including mentoring and specialised health sector advice.

Stage of innovation: any
Open to: companies situated in, operating in or planning to relocate to the Swindon or Wiltshire area
Application deadline:
closed


Evidence into Practice Challenge

**This challenge is now closed**

An open call to healthcare professionals in the West of England who have an evidence-based idea for an initiative or project that will improve healthcare. The applicant must have previously implemented the project at least on a small scale.

Support offered: support to enable the development and spread of this great idea across other organisations in the region, and possibly even nationally.

Stage of innovation: proven  in your own organisation
Open to: anyone employed by one of our member organisations
Application deadline: closed


The Future Challenges: Young People and Mental Health Resilience

**This challenge is now closed**

A national call looking for innovative solutions to two priorities:

  • building and promoting resilience
  • early identification

Support offered: £40,000 is available to pilot your solution in one of our healthcare member organisations, plus the opportunity to have the project evaluated.

Stage of innovation: on the market
Open to: companies
Application process: This is a procurement call for products and services already on the market. Briefing documents and the application form will be available on the Bravo Solutions platform.
Application deadline: closed


The Future Challenges: Keeping Healthy at Home

**This challenge is now closed** 

A national call looking for innovative solutions to two priorities:

  • staying well & confident and out of hospital (prevention, citizen focused)
  • staying connected and supported at the right time and right place (self-management, citizen focused)

Support offered: £40,000 is available to pilot your solution in one of our healthcare member organisations, plus the opportunity to have the project evaluated.

Stage of innovation: on the market
Open to: companies
Application process: This is a procurement call for products and services already on the market. Briefing documents and the application form will be available on the Bravo Solutions platform.
Application deadline: closed


Create Open Health

**This call is now closed**

Create Open Health is a call for digital or technology-based solutions, which could be implemented within the NHS and health sector to support the mental well being of young people in the UK.

Support offered: successful applicants will be offered the chance to build on their ideas during an intensive two day development bootcamp and hackathon. We’ll give applicants guidance on financing their idea, and in implementing their idea within the healthcare sector.

Stage of innovation: proof of concept/ concept
Open to: entrepreneurs, people who’ve got lived experience, parents, caregivers, healthcare practitioners, members of the general public
Application deadline: 
closed

Fill out our company engagement form for Business Development support

Receive business development support

To receive business development support please fill out our engagement form with details of your business, product or idea.

Go to the form