71 small and medium businesses have been supported through the Health Innovation Exchange project, helping them take their innovative products and services from concept to market, creating 22 new jobs, since launching in 2016.
The Innovation Agency is a partner in the Health Innovation Exchange, which is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and has enabled small and medium sized businesses to gain a raft of support and guidance from healthcare professionals, universities and businesses across the Liverpool City Region.
Dave Horsfield, Digital, Innovation & Research Lead for Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Health Innovation Exchange has built upon the City Region’s strong expertise in health and life science by harnessing the collective expertise of the NHS and universities to help businesses in the Liverpool City Region develop solutions for the health and social care sector.
“What has been encouraging is the range of businesses we have supported so far – from digital companies, social enterprises, manufacturers, to companies focusing on mental health and wellbeing, amongst others – all developing innovations that will ultimately enable the health and social care sector to deliver more effectively and efficiently.”
Health is one of the biggest and fastest-growing growing sectors in the world, valued at around £6 trillion globally, and the overall aim of the programme is to catalyse businesses in the Liverpool City Region to become market leaders in health, wellbeing and care sectors by encouraging the development of innovative products, services and solutions.
The programme is now calling for more businesses who want to access the health sector to get in touch to find out how they can benefit from the Health Innovation Exchange project before it ends later this year.
To be eligible, businesses must be looking to develop innovative products or services within the health and care sectors and be based within the areas that make up the Liverpool City Region: Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Halton, Knowsley and Wirral.
Andy Cairns, Liverpool City Region Commercial manager at the Innovation Agency, said: “Local innovators have had a real impact on healthcare in the Liverpool City Region, not only in terms of improved patient care and increased efficiency and effectiveness in the NHS, but also in economic terms and the development of the region as a leader in this sector.
“The Academic Health Science Networks exist to facilitate these collaborations, and with the Health Innovation Exchange I look forward to seeing the next cohort of pioneering entrepreneurs bring their expertise and creativity to the field.”
Jason Taylor, General Manager (Innovation) at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our aim from the start of this project was to help remove obstacles and stimulate the collaboration necessary to enhance the Liverpool City Region’s capacity to innovate and I feel we have certainly enabled local businesses to connect with world-class health, care, technology and commercial resources on offer.”
Jason added: “I would encourage any small or medium sized businesses who are developing products or services for the health and care sectors, or who have existing products that can be repurposed for the sector, to get in touch before the programme ends in September.”
For more information businesses can visit the Health Innovation Exchange website healthinnovationexchange.com
Photo: Dr Elliot Street of Inovus Medical demonstrates their affordable keyhole surgical simulator at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2018. A start-up business from St Helens, Inovus Medical now employs seven people and their products are in use in nearly 100 NHS hospitals.