Why knowing your market is so important

9th March 2022 - By Nick Harrison

On Monday 14th March, we will be hosting a webinar to explore horizon scanning, which is used as an overall term for analysing the future. It considers how emerging trends and developments might potentially affect current policy and practice.

Nick Harrison, Programme Manager in the Economic Growth team at the AHSN NENC, will be speaking on the day and takes a look ahead to the webinar and the importance of knowing your market.


Nobody can see into the future, however understanding and being prepared for the possibilities is a good way to give your business an advantage. Horizon Scanning is a technique for looking ahead that can help you identify the possibilities, and the potential threats, before they arise.

I joined the AHSN NENC in December 2018, after nearly five years spent as a researcher specialising in market research, patent and product research, statistical analysis, literature reviews and other information services, to inform individuals and organisations and help them bring their innovative products and services to life. Looking at what lies ahead in the future and the methods you can employ to keep an eye out for what is coming, is something I’m particularly passionate about and it takes on even greater significance post COVID-19.

As economies recover from the pandemic, a range of uncertainties such as climate change, digital and tech acceleration, the changing international landscape, modes of working and the world of regulation all threaten further disruption. By having a handle on factors like these, you will be better prepared to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate the threats.

While we can’t predict the future, we can change mindsets, challenge assumptions and explore opportunities in ways that make us more dynamic and equipped for the future. The Horizon Scanning workshop will provide you with some of the tools and techniques to enact positive change in your organisation.

The webinar will explore:

  • How to visualise your future and keep an eye out on what is coming.
  • Worldwide databases and search techniques.
  • The range of possible methodological approaches and tools used in horizon scanning.
  • The new NHS Innovation Service.

We are also delighted to be joined by Dale Athey and James Woltman from the NIHR Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO), the national medical horizon scanning facility based at Newcastle University, who will give an overview of the NIHR Innovation Observatory and update on a new programme aimed specifically at supporting industry.

The webinar is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to increase their access into the healthcare sector and in addition to the programme, a series of workshops and seminars will be run by Health Network North –  all designed to help build a strong springboard for businesses to get into the healthcare market.

Register your place here.