How England’s Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) are transforming lives through healthcare innovation.  ►

The Innovation Agency is one of 15 AHSNs working together in the AHSN Network, the innovation arm of the NHS


What is an AHSN?


We are unique. Our strength lies in our ability to operate locally because of the trust our member organisations have in us. 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.

We are the only organisations that connect all partners across sectors: NHS and academia, local authorities, the third sector, industry and citizens.

AHSNs work collaboratively, identifying and supporting the successful development of innovations in our local regional healthcare communities and helping to spread these across our national Network.

We are catalysts working to create the conditions needed to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies:

  • We spread innovation at pace and scale to achieve our goals of improving health, driving down the cost of care and stimulating economic growth.

  • AHSNs provide access across our regions to NHS hospital trusts, mental health and community health providers, primary care practices, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and universities.

  • We deliver benefits to our members, citizens and patients, by creating productive partnerships between the NHS and industry, academia and social care.

  • We are supporting the NHS to deliver a step-change in the rapid identification, adoption and spread of best practice, clinical innovations and new technologies to meet the challenges set out in the Five Year Forward View and emerging in the new Long Term Plan.

  • We enable companies to grow and create jobs by accessing expertise and opportunities in the health and care sector. We help industry engage more productively, focused on brokering introductions that meet defined local needs.

The ASHN Network was set up by NHS England in 2013 and was relicensed from April 2018.


Download the AHSN Network Innovators magazine and Impact report 2018/19:


The Innovators magazine

AHSN Network impact report 2018/19

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