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Access to the life science market can be a headache for multinational pharma and medical device companies, let alone small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs can face significant challenges to introduce new and innovative products into the health and social care market.

The Innovation Nexus provides a single point of access for SMEs in the life science sector to a network of specialist support within Greater Manchester. 

The Innovation Nexus is a gateway to a holistic business growth support offering, focused on the specialist needs of life science SMEs, delivered through a coherent support strategy and an all-inclusive approach to helping businesses develop their growth strategies. 

The aim of the Innovation Nexus is to deliver long-term health and wealth benefits to Greater Manchester through investment, innovation, education and business growth, ultimately improving the health and wellbeing of the Greater Manchester population (and beyond). 



The challenge for healthcare businesses

Companies, especially SMEs, can face significant challenges to introduce their new and innovative products into the NHS. The complexity of public procurement, patient safety and a risk averse culture across multiple organisations can be daunting. The Innovation Nexus aims to provide a single source of resource that can help companies, particularly SMEs, understand the steps that need to be taken to support their business planning and engage with the NHS more easily, thus progressing the adoption of their innovation at pace and with fewer unanticipated obstacles.

How can the Innovation Nexus help?

Help with navigating NHS procurement

Information about funding and investment

Help with setting up a trial of your innovation

Information on science parks and office locations in the GM AHSN footprint

Connections to organisations that can help you progress your innovation

Speak directly to a GM AHSN advisor with NHS expertise

Latest news Latest news


SBRI Healthcare supports novel technologies that aim to revolutionise primary care and GP services

AHSNs are co-developing novel technologies for primary care as part of its SBRI Healthcare programme. Innovations that could revolutionise GP Services have been funded to address the challenges of an ageing population.

Recognising the current pressures in primary care and need to advance the future of general practice, 22 companies share in a £2.1 million investment to develop and commercialise novel technologies with the potential to revolutionise GP services. This competition was led by South West AHSN, Eastern AHSN and West of England AHSN.

Technologies were sought in three main challenge areas for general practice. Winning innovations include: a device that measures novel biomarkers in a patient’s breath to immediately distinguish a viral from a bacterial respiratory tract infection allowing the GP to prescribe antibiotics quickly and appropriately; and a technology that allows for automatic vital sign measurement - heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation - whilst booking in with the receptionist, optimising the patient’s visit and maximising time with the GP.

Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the AHSN Network, commented:

“There are few areas of our daily lives that remain untouched by technological advancement. Through the SBRI Healthcare programme, the AHSN Network is working with industry partners to develop solutions that will help deliver high quality GP services to a growing and aging population, and ensure patients across the country benefit from new and innovative technologies.”

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“General practice has always been a trail blazer for adopting new innovations in our daily practice. At a time when our profession is under intense resource and workforce pressures, it is important that we continue to encourage and support new ideas that can benefit the care we deliver to patients, and make life that little bit easier for healthcare professionals right across the NHS.”

Dr Peter Brindle, Commissioning Evidence Informed Care Lead for the West of England AHSN, who was involved in shaping the call’s brief and a member of the reviewing panel commented:

“90% of patient contacts happen in General Practice, so improvements to the quality and efficiency in primary care can have a massive effect on the rest of the system. Innovation in General Practice is not new, but the SBRI GP of the Future award has matched the major issues of diagnostics, patient self-care and practice workload with the very best of business solutions.”

The programme works with leading healthcare players to identify areas where technology can be applied to address healthcare challenges. The 22 successful projects have been selected for their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered to patients. The companies will be supported and fully funded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their proposed concept for a six-month development phase.

With awards of up to £100,000 each, the successful companies (and supporting Academic Health Science Networks) are:


  • Anglia Ruskin Enterprise (Eastern AHSN)
  • Cambridge Respiratory Innovations (Eastern AHSN)
  • Covolution (UCLPartners)
  • Digital Algorithms (West of England AHSN)
  • Healum (UCLPartners)
  • Helicon Health (UCLPartners)
  • MSKnote (Kent, Surrey & Sussex AHSN)
  • MyDiabetesMyWay (Scotland)
  • Orsus Medical (West of England AHSN)
  • Ulsys (Yorkshire and Humber AHSN)
  • uMotif (Health Innovation Network, South London)

Diagnostics and earlier triage

  • Applied Nanodetectors (UCLPartners)
  • Fraunhofer UK Research (Scotland)
  • Manus Neurodynamica (Scotland)
  • Medtechtomarket Consulting (Innovation Agency, North West Coast)
  • Saccade Diagnostics (Scotland)

Workload and demand management

  • Advanced Therapeutic Materials (West Midlands AHSN)
  • Doc Abode (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN)
  • iPLATO Healthcare (Imperial College Health Partners)
  • nquiringminds (Wessex AHSN)
  • xim (Wessex AHSN)
  • Xytal Technology (South West AHSN)

To find out more about the programme, visit www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk

Bespoke industry support from NHS experts

If you are a business with an innovative product or service that you believe has the potential to benefit the healthcare market, the Innovation Nexus is your gateway to access a network of specialist advice and support.

Find out more about STEP INto Healthcare - an intensive support programme for life science SMEs working in Greater Manchester

Information and guidance

Access information and guidance on a range of topics related to working with and selling to the NHS, and find clear signposts to organisations that can help you achieve your goals.

Are you an innovator in the NHS or academia?

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