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The Innovation Exchange

All 15 AHSNs support the regional ‘import and export’ of healthcare innovation through the 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 (NICE), NHS Improvement and the AHSNs.

The Innovation Exchange has four structured elements:

  • Identifying local needs
  • Innovator support and signposting
  • Real world validation
  • Spread and adoption of supported innovations

Meeting local needs

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

We have worked with colleagues in our local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) based in: Gloucestershire; Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG); and Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) to develop local innovation hubs.

Our innovation hubs help articulate unmet need, and implement innovations already developed by:

  • building on ‘bottom-up’ ideas from clinicians, health and care staff, citizens, patients and local businesses
  • coordinating challenges based on STP needs, attracting innovators to develop and test solutions
  • supporting fast track adoption of best practice and proven innovation from other AHSNs and national programmes.

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.

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.

Whether you are an innovator looking for help in getting your ideas developed or in healthcare and interested in helping us develop the innovation exchange you can contact us at and receive regular updates.

Be part of this exciting journey with us and help us create the future of healthcare together.

Our Innovation Exchange team are based in offices in central Bristol and at FutureSpace on the UWE campus in Filton.

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