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The challenges we face

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.

a fully funded intensive support programme for life science SMEs working in Greater Manchester

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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 can give you access a network of specialist advice and support.

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GM AHSN's Innovation Funds and other opportunities

Following our “New Funding & Development Opportunities for Innovators” event, held this week (November 8) at the Nowgen Centre, Manchester, we are pleased to announce that our Ignite and Momentum funds are now open for applications.

The GM AHSN Innovation Funds support the introduction and adoption of needs-led, evidence-based innovations into the healthcare system within the GM AHSN footprint. They improve the health of citizens, whilst promoting economic development and wealth creation through the growth of local businesses and jobs.

Tuesday 8 November’s event was an opportunity for representatives from academic, clinical and industry organisations to hear in person about the opportunities currently available to them. Staff from GM AHSN and its Innovation Nexus delivery partner, TRUSTECH, presented in detail about the funds. Marcus Orton, of GM AHSN funded company Swabtech Ltd also spoke, sharing his experiences of working with AHSN funding, and how his innovation has benefitted since.

There are three funds in our suite, with two (Ignite and Momentum) currently open for applications and one more (Energise) likely to reopen in early 2017.

The Ignite Fund is intended to support clinicians and academics working on early stage projects to develop solutions to unmet healthcare needs.

The Energise Fund is specifically designed to support clinicians, academics and companies develop proof of concept or prototyping projects for a defined clinical application.

The Momentum Fund will provide funding support to help SMEs with near market innovative products or services accelerate progress to significant milestones.

The current round of applications for Ignite and Momentum will close on December 13 at 9am.

Later in the event, delegates learned from Joop Tanis, Operational Director of the SBRI Healthcare programme, about a funding opportunity for innovations targeted at the General Practice of the Future. The afternoon was rounded off with a contribution from Ian MacArthur, Head of the Sectors Programme at Manchester’s Business Growth Hub. Together with the GM AHSN, the Business Growth Hub is developing a new programme to support SMEs to get their products into the NHS (STEP INto Healthcare). More information about this will be available in the near future.

Marcus Orton, CEO at SwabTech Ltd said:

"The AHSN Accelerator (an earlier version of GM AHSN's Momentum programme) provided valuable resources and momentum to SwabTech’s product development. The funds supported a multi-disciplinary 'Usability and Human Factors' workshop where our design, regulatory and scientific team worked closely with NHS blood recovery staff. By exploring options for both optimising our concepts and addressing regulatory and commercial requirements we have refined our product specifications and plans. With these SwabTech has been able to secure much needed investment funding and supply-chain interest. This is all moving us significantly closer to delivering a highly cost-effective, automated swab-washing innovation, enhancing blood recovery for the NHS blood management services and other healthcare systems."

Linda Magee, Industry and Wealth Director at GM AHSN said:

“Events like this demonstrate the appetite in Greater Manchester for healthcare innovation. We are pleased to be able to support a range of clinical, academic and industry innovators with our work. Following the first successful round of applications for our Innovation Funds earlier this year, we look forward to receiving the applications for this round, as well as to continuing to follow the progress of those companies and individuals we have already supported.”

The Ignite and Momentum funds will award up to a maximum of £30,000 and £25,000 per project respectively, and priority will be given to Greater Manchester based applicants including inward investment companies who have a base in the GM area. 

For application guidance and support, please contact the Innovation Nexus team by email at IN@gmahsn.org or by phone on: 0161 276 2697 or 0161 701 2509.

You can view the slides from Tuesday’s event below.