Health professionals work with innovative health technology in a lab.

The South West Academic Health Science Network (South West AHSN) is one of 15 AHSNs set up by NHS England across the country in 2013. As the only bodies connecting NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, AHSNs are uniquely placed to identify and spread health innovation at pace and scale, driving the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations.

The South West AHSN Innovation Exchange works across Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to identify the needs of the healthcare system and find innovative solutions to meet those challenges. Equally, they can offer this support to companies within the Plymouth city region that are seeking to grow nationally, with direct access through the PHIA.

Acting as an innovation broker, the South West AHSN helps innovators understand the needs of our health and care system and supports them to build partnerships to improve patient care and generate economic growth. It also provides signposting for early-stage innovators who have an idea that might require time and resources to reach the market.

Following an introductory call and an assessment of business needs through a triage process, the South West AHSN aims to connect businesses to a range of internal support services that may include:

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