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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

How can the Innovation Nexus help me?

Speak directly to a GM AHSN advisor with NHS expertise

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

Connect you with relevant organisations


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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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Mobilise the NHS - November 2016 & January 2017

Mobilise the NHS brings together NHS clinical staff and small digital companies to jointly design software applications that solve clinical and care problems.

Who is the event for?

We’re inviting NorthWest based small to medium digital companies with an interest in healthcare to send small teams of 2-3 people to join us in Central Manchester for two days working up ideas for new apps with hospital clinicians from Salford Royal Foundation Trust.

Salford Royal FT have recently been named one of 12 UK NHS Centres of Digital of Excellence and are widely recognised as one of the most digitally advanced hospitals in the country.

What and why?

Small digital businesses are often at the cutting edge of software innovation, and the NHS needs their ideas and originality. However, it can be difficult for these companies to work with the NHS. Salford Royal Foundation Trust and Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network are keen to support North West small businesses in engaging with the NHS, and to help NHS staff learn about software development. With those aims in mind, Salford Royal Foundation Trust clinicians were asked to suggest ideas for applications: we’ve selected four great suggestions that will improve care in Salford and can be of use in the wider NHS to take forward as challenges to our 'Mobilise the NHS' days.

The challenges include ideas around:

  • Stroke care
  • Supporting patients in self-care
  • Improving communication during clinical consultations
  • Rheumatoid arthritis care

We’ll have clinical staff representing each of these challenges at the Mobilise the NHS events. At the first of the two days, each digital company will be paired with hospital staff representing one of the challenges. You’ll work together to understand the problems they’re trying to solve, and to develop their ideas for an application. We’ll provide pens and big sheets of paper so you can work jointly to storyboard your ideas; if you’d also like to bring laptops and start to develop digital prototypes that’s great too, we don’t mind which platform you use.

During the day we’ll also have some speakers talking about NHS procurement and the NHS IT landscape. We’ll then invite the most promising teams of developers and hospital staff to return for a second day. You’ll have time to expand your ideas further, get some support to develop business plans and guidance on sources of funding. We expect to see at least one of the ideas make it off the storyboard and into code!

When and where?

Friday 18th November 2016 - First session: Understanding the challenge and initial prototyping 

Thursday 5th January 2017 - Second session: Developing your prototypes further, business planning and selling in the NHS

Both sessions will be held in central Manchester.

Ownership of Ideas generated at the Mobilise the NHS Days

The ‘Mobilise the NHS’ events are intended to encourage collaboration between NHS staff and North West based digital SMEs, and consequently the initial sessions will be open and not covered by mutual confidentiality agreements. Participants may flag and define pre-existing ideas and intellectual property if they wish by completing template ownership documents in advance of the workshop (we will provide a template to participants), or by recording background IP at the time of discussion. Following the second Mobilise the NHS day, rights of ownership and use of resulting intellectual property will be defined and agreed in a short form agreement. We anticipate that this agreement would gift any new IP developed during the Mobilise the NHS events to the SME, but include recognition of Salford Royal staff’s investment of time into product development and consequent reduced cost or free access to any resulting products.

How do I apply?

We’ve got limited places for teams so to apply, please email informatics@gmahsn.org with subject line ‘Mobilise the NHS’ and tell us something about your company and your work:

1. Who you are?

2. What sort of applications you currently develop?

3. Whether you’ve got any particular interest in any of the challenge domains – we can’t promise but where possible we’ll match you up with your interests.

a. Stroke care

b. Supporting patients in self-care

c. Improving communication during clinical consultations

d. Rheumatoid arthritis care

Please send your application to informatics@gmahsn.org by 31st October 2016.

We’ll email you by 4th November 2016 to let you know if you’ve got a place. Please note, Mobilise the NHS is only open to North West England based small to medium enterprises.