Supporting integrated business and health communities

  • August 17, 2015


The Innovation Nexus is an invaluable resource for SMEs doing business with the NHS in Greater Manchester.

Launching a new product is a challenge for any business, but introducing a product to the NHS can provide additional complexities. Greater Manchester AHSN developed the Innovation Nexus to provide solutions to problems faced by companies, especially SMEs, bringing healthcare innovation to this region.

Linda Magee, joint Executive Director of Industry and Wealth at GM AHSN, said: “We know that companies, especially SMEs, can face significant challenges trying to introduce their new and innovative products into the NHS. The complexity of public procurement, understanding what information the NHS requires for a business case and negotiating what it is often a ‘risk-averse’ culture across multiple organisations can be daunting.”

The Innovation Nexus provides information, access and support – everything businesses need to develop, test and deliver innovative products and services in collaboration with the NHS.

Businesses can access support via to find out about key information to support their development, such as:

  • Clinical opinions
  • Trials and evaluation
  • Regulation
  • Funding support
  • Business support
  • Market analysis
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Procurement and adoption.

At the heart of the Innovation Nexus is an enquiry service, through which companies can arrange an initial consultation with one of the GM AHSN’s expert advisors.

These advisors bring together expertise across all aspects of working with the NHS, from trials, evaluation and market needs analysis to procurement and adoption.

Through the Innovation Nexus Accelerator programme, Manchester-based Optasia Medicine will be able to demonstrate how its unique SpineAnalyzer™ technology and its associated service offering can help optimise Fracture Liaison Service strategies for vertebral fracture case finding. Building on evidence gathered outside the UK, Optasia are producing a cost-benefit model based on data gathered within an NHS setting.

“As a small company with limited resources, we will be able to significantly accelerate our strategy for engaging with the NHS” Anthony Holmes, CEO, Optasia Medical

The Innovation Nexus can also help to highlight funding opportunities. Slo Drinks plc. were recently awarded funding from GM AHSN’s Technology Innovation Challenge, to run a clinical evaluation of their new high-nutrient milkshakes for dysphagia patients. Launched in August 2015, the product is now being piloted in hospitals and care homes around the country.

“It’s brilliant, it’s giving financial support for small companies like ourselves to come up with game-changing innovations that are outside our own funding.” Mathew Done, Slo Drinks founder

 The Innovation Nexus can help existing businesses wanting to grow or new business looking to invest in the area. Since its launch in October 2014, it has already advised nearly 100 businesses – with more enquiries every day.

“Our role as an AHSN is to boost the economy and improve health and, by helping companies to do business with the NHS, we are creating really positive outcomes for patients.” Keith Chantler, joint Executive Director of Industry and Wealth at the GM AHSN