Supporting Economic Growth

HI NENC has, since its inception, focused on economic growth by mobilising the assets within the regions Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Universities to attract and grow business.

Economic growth can be driven by ideas and products that arise from within the NHS which have commercial potential, and also through the development of products and services from companies through access to NHS expertise and markets. To facilitate this process, HI NENC has developed and successfully implemented the Innovation Pathway. The Innovation Pathway provides bespoke support services, through a consistent and measurable process, to NHS organisations and industry.

The Office for Life Sciences has funded our 15 regional counterparts to coordinate ‘Innovation Exchanges’ so that innovative new diagnostic tools, treatments and medical technologies reach patients faster.

This enables HI NENC, and our Innovation Pathway delivery partners, to do the following:

  • Identify priorities and act as trusted brokers across sectors to bring together people and organisations
  • Provide the first port of call for information, for example, signposting commercial innovators and matching already proven solutions to challenges faced by local NHS organisations
  • Share best practice around health and care organisations, and deliver expert advice about the adoption of innovation
  • Identify opportunities for patients to take part in trials and pilots
  • Work with health and commercial partners to test out solutions
  • Collaborate as a national network of 15 to identify what is working best locally, and then scale it nationally.

The National Health Innovation Network

HI NENC (formerly AHSN NENC) has been appointed as the lead organisation for driving the national Economic Growth agenda, helping the network helps mobilise the value that the NHS can add as an economic asset to the UK economy.

If you wish to engage with the HI NENC Economic Growth Team, please complete the  Company Engagement Form and return to [email protected]

Our Programmes

Delivering a net zero NHS

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Health Innovation Network – Digital North Accelerator Programme

What is the Digital North Accelerator Programme? The Digital North Accelerator programme is a collaborative enterprise established by the four northern Health Innovation networks. It aims to support regional digital health technology firms in the adoption and spread of their…

Innovation Exchange

  All 15 AHSNs support the regional ‘import and export’ of healthcare innovation through our Innovation Exchange. The Innovation Exchange is an AHSN coordinated approach to identify, select and support the adoption of innovations that improve our economy and patients’…

The Accelerated Access Collaborative

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) aims to make the process of getting transformative technologies to patients quicker, cheaper and easier for innovators and the NHS. The government and its partners, of which the AHSN NENC is one, aim to bring…

NHS Innovation Accelerator

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) programme was launched by NHS England in 2015 and focusses upon developed innovations which have an evidence base and are ready for scaling. Who should apply to the NIA? The NIA call is open to…

SBRI Healthcare

Small Business Research Initiative for (SBRI) Healthcare is targeted at SMEs and early stage businesses. It provides vital funding for the crucial stage of product development. SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, championed by the AHSNs, which supports a…

Health Network North

What is Health Network North? Health Network North is a membership-based Network, which helps its members to gain insight, and increase engagement, within a rapidly growing and vibrant, yet sometimes difficult to navigate, healthcare economy in the region.   Sign…

Innovation Library NENC

The Innovation Library NENC, is a website portal for NHS and industry to share ideas as well as emerging and adopted health innovations, enabling spread and adoption across the healthcare system in the North East and North Cumbria. The innovative…


AHSN NENC Technology Specific Evaluation Team (TSET) What does the AHSN NENC Technology Specific Evaluation Team (TSET) do? The Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award ( funds and supports promising AI technologies for health and social care. It aims…