Skip to content

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.

In the West of England we have an Innovation Exchange web portal that provides advice and support to anyone involved in healthcare innovation in our region. We help innovators to develop, trial and implement their ideas. We also support clinicians and commissioners in their desire to find innovations that will improve their services.

The support services we are able to offer innovators through the portal include:

  • hyvr – our social media platform for healthcare
  • specialist one-to-one business support
  • connection events, seminars and conferences
  • funding opportunities
  • entrepreneurial training and business accelerator programmes
  • monthly e-newsletter including a summary of our current funding opportunities and upcoming events
  • evaluation and adoption readiness toolkit

Meeting local needs

In addition to the portal 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.

Spread and adoption of supported innovations

Across the country 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.

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.


The AHSN Network logo and Office for Life Sciences logo