Introducing the Innovation Agency

See how we support innovations which improve health and care in the North West Coast and nationally


Who we are and what we do

The Innovation Agency supports the discovery, development and deployment of innovations and improvements in health and care across Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The innovations we support are ideas, services, products and processes which improve health and the quality of care and drive costs down.

Find our more about innovation in the innovation pipeline.

Part of  

We’re the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for the North West Coast, one of England’s 15 AHSNs in the AHSN Network.

We work closely with other AHSNs and the national AHSN Network - working together to spread innovations nationally and share best practice.

Find out more about the AHSN Network >

Commisioned to deliver national programmes

We are commissioned by NHS England and the Office for Life Sciences and lead on National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (NPSIPs) in our region as well as national programmes to adopt evidenced medicines and products selected by the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative.

Find out about our programmes >

Working across health and care

We work with organisations from across health and care to increase connections and collaborations, deliver national programmes, identify needs, share best practice and increase the spread and adoption of innovations.

If you would like to know how we can support you or how to join our networks, get in touch >

Supporting innovators and businesses

We deliver support to innovators and small to medium-sized businesses whose healthcare products have the potential to achieve improvements; developing their innovations and their ability to access the NHS .

Our Health Matters programmes aim to grow the economy in the North West Coast by increasing investment, funding and jobs across health and care. These programmes are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse.

We also work with the top innovation businesses from around Europe as well as globally by working in partnership with EIT Health.

Our offer to innovators and businesses >

Our role in the Integrated Care Systems (ICSs)

For our partners in the Cheshire and Merseyside and Lancashire and South Cumbria ICSs we offer expertise and support in sourcing and adopting innovations; programme management; and facilitation of system and service change. We have a particular focus on areas with high levels of deprivation to increase access to disease prevention and treatments.

We respond to the needs of our local system, understanding their challenges to support the adoption and spread of innovations. By working across the system we have the opportunity to view a challenge from different perspectives.

Our role includes bringing together system leaders and facilitating a collaborative co-designed project, which creates unique opportunities to make the most of what is planned, for example by bringing together expertise across both the clinical and the digital workforce.

Our role in ICSs >

Collaboration and culture

Our Coaching Academy delivers a variety of learning experiences aimed at building a healthy culture for developing, spreading and adopting innovations.

We also lead and support on many events, podcasts, videos, news, blogs and innovator communities designed around clinical specialisms, innovating, quality improvement, place and programme and leadership.

Sign up to receive all the latest from the Innovation Agency >

Public Involvement

Ensuring people’s views are heard is essential for developing and delivering better healthcare services.  We encourage everyone in our region to find out more about the work of the Innovation Agency and have their say on how we spread innovations and improvements.


Our goals


The Innovation Agency has three goals as set out in our 21/22 business plan. These goals are:

  1. Increase the spread and adoption of innovation through collaboration
  2. Develop cultures that promote equity and allow innovation to thrive
  3. Stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the health and life sciences sector

Our goals are the result of consultation with our partners and key stakeholders about the needs of our region matched with our capabilities and complementing other organisations.

We understand the needs of our health systems and are well placed to broker innovative solutions, while collaborating across England to take what works best and quickly spread it nationally, responding to the diverse needs of patients and our population through partnerships and collaboration.

Our work is overseen by a Board of partners who help to shape our plans, provide insight into the needs of the region and act as our ambassadors for innovation.

Our region


Our region covers Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria, with around 4.1 million residents.  We work with two integrated care systems, NHS providers, universities and a large number of life science companies and small to medium size businesses, as well as networks of voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations.

Our teams collaborate with our partners to deliver transformations and improvements in healthcare.

Our values





Engaging all voices


All the latest from the Innovation Agency...