AHSNs are uniquely placed to unlock the power of frontline innovation, saving lives and money. We bridge gaps and strengthen connections between research, life sciences industry and healthcare.

AHSNs cross traditional sector boundaries and strengthen partnerships with industry partners so that innovative technology makes a difference to more patients more quickly.

In 2020-21:

  • 2,888 companies were supported by AHSNs
  • 124 companies entered into long term strategic partnerships with AHSNs
  • 700 jobs were created
  • 763 jobs were safeguarded
  • £462 million of investment has been leveraged.


Innovation Exchange

The Innovation Exchange is an AHSN-coordinated approach to identify, select and support the adoption of innovations which have the potential to transform the lives of patients, and support growth of the businesses we work with.

If you are a business looking for support, visit the Innovation Exchange Digital Gateway to access expertise from our teams across the country.

Innovation Pathway

The AHSN Network helps mobilise the value that the NHS can add as an economic asset within the UK economy. Through our Innovation Pathway we broker access to a range of expert support and services across the health and care sectors that support NHS innovators and companies to realise the commercial and economic potential of their ideas.

Digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AHSNs enable the most effective digital and AI solutions to reach more patients more quickly. We work with patients, industry and the health and care sector to make this happen and enable more products to be developed, right through from an idea to real world validation and on to spread through our national network. Find out more.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) accelerates uptake of high-impact innovations for patient, population and NHS staff benefit. It also provides real-time practical insights on spread to inform national strategy. The NIA is an NHS England initiative delivered in partnership with all 15 AHSNs across England, hosted at UCLPartners. Find out more.

SBRI Healthcare

The SBRI Healthcare programme supports early stage development of products towards implementation. Find out more.

Bridging the Gap

Our Bridging the Gap events are aimed at health technology innovators and companies who are interested in accessing the NHS marketplace to improve health and care for patients and citizens, and who have a product or service that is ready for scaling up.

Free to attend, the events include a range of talks, workshops, 1 to 1 advice sessions and unique networking opportunities. It brings together a wide range of services available to industry from the AHSN Network and our partners under one roof. Find out more.

Fast Tracking Technologies and Medicines

The AHSN Network is a key member of the AAC, the umbrella body across the UK health innovation ecosystem, providing more joined up support for innovators and setting the strategy for innovation in the health system. Find out more.

AHSN Atlas of Solutions in Healthcare

The AHSN Atlas is an online resource that shares some of the very best examples from across the AHSNs of how to spread high impact innovation across the health and care system. Read our case studies.


AHSNs work with many national bodies including the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) and the BioIndustry Association (BIA). Locally each AHSN works with many commercial and development organisations such as MediLinks and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Innovation Collaborative

NHSX is partnering with regional teams across England and the AHSN Network to create an Innovation Collaborative that will support rapid deployment of innovative technologies to enable care to be delivered to people at home.

NHSX is supporting this work through the allocation of additional funding to seven regions in England to undertake scaling at pace between September 2020 and March 2021. These digital tools are an important step in making sure we deliver modern, responsive health and care services. They will empower people to monitor their own health, wellbeing; manage long term conditions; and receive care in their own homes when it is sensible and safe to do so. Find out more.