Working in partnership with a number of regional NHS Trusts, the AHSN NENC’s Innovation Pathway helps guide innovators and their ideas through the complex innovation lifecycle.
Healthcare professionals and companies at the forefront of the region’s achievements in health innovations attended an event to celebrate the successes and milestones of recent years.
Organised by the AHSN NENC, the event at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland brought together frontline staff from across the health sector to share ideas and achievements on how an integrated approach can speed up and encourage innovation.
Hosted by the AHSN NENC’s Director of Innovation, Dr Nicola Wesley, a key focus was on the impact that The Innovation Pathway has had since its inception.
Nicola conceived the idea of a system providing bespoke services to companies and individuals covering the entire innovation lifecycle in 2014.
The concept quickly grew from idea to reality after gaining support from partners across the region to deliver and implement the service. The collaborative efforts have now been recognised at a national level with The Innovation Pathway due to be rolled out nationally across other AHSN areas.
Since its inception, The Innovation Pathway has also:
· Assisted more than 250 companies in the region
· Created 109 jobs
· Safeguarded a further 44 jobs
Dr Wesley said: “We’re immensely proud of what has been achieved so far through The Innovation Pathway. It’s been a long journey to get to where we are today and if it wasn’t for the belief, support and dedication of all our partners we wouldn’t have become a national exemplar.
“I look forward to watching The Innovation Pathway continue to grow and help bring important innovations closer to being adopted and disseminated.”
Dr Seamus O’Neill, Chief Executive at the AHSN NENC, added: “As an AHSN we are responsible for connecting healthcare professionals from all sectors to drive improvements and health outcomes and to grow the economy.
“A vital part of this comes from encouraging innovation, channeling ideas and helping bring them to life for the ultimate benefit of patients and organisations in our region. The Innovation Pathway encapsulates this vision and we’re thrilled to be leading the way nationally with our collaborative, proactive approach to innovation.
“We want to thank everyone who attended our stakeholder event to help us celebrate these fantastic achievements and to inspire future collaborations across our thriving and vibrant regional healthcare system.”
The Innovation Pathway offers step by step support to reach the ultimate goal of adoption and dissemination of an innovative technology or service into the healthcare market place.
The Innovation Pathway utilises the breadth of expertise available in the region – from intellectual property experts and clinical specialists at the forefront of research to experts in funding and finance.
The bespoke services offered under The Innovation Pathway are free to all core member organisations of the AHSN NENC. Subject to available funding, The Innovation Pathway will also provide certain services free of charge to SMEs within the region.
The AHSN’s innovation stakeholder event included speakers from across a range of its partner organisations who all shared their expertise on innovation and why it is so important to our healthcare system.
Speakers included: Alan Sanderson, NHS Innovations North; Professor Sam Eldabe, NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria; Dr Charlotte Kemp, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Andrew Sims, Med-Tech and Diagnostic Device Pathways, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Imran Ahmed, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust; Russ Watkins, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; and Richard Phillips, Association of British Healthcare Industries.
A range of workshop sessions were also delivered by experts from the region and beyond covering a breadth of topics such as ‘What is innovation and what does it look like in a healthcare setting’, ‘Med-Tech Research’ and ‘Market Access’.
To see some examples of The Innovation Pathway in action, visit: http://ahsn-nenc.org.uk/the-innovation-pathway-in-action-case-studies-from-the-nihr-diagnostic-evidence-co-operative-dec-newcastle/