A home for great ideas and life changing collaborations…

By Laura Boland, Innovation Agency

It is the role of the Academic Health Science Network to aid the spread of great ideas across the health and care landscape in England, and accelerate the uptake of life-changing innovation into clinical practice. 

A pivotal element of our work is to act as an Innovation Exchange, sharing knowledge of innovative solutions and matching them to local need to improve health and care outcomes. 

Since I joined the Innovation Agency in September 2018, I’ve seen first-hand the wealth of effective products that currently exist, in the North West Coast region and beyond. There is no shortage of talented people willing to collaborate with the NHS to improve people’s lives. 

But the reality is that the system is complex, front line teams face workforce and resource challenges and matching the right solution to the patients that will benefit is difficult. 

Despite the barriers to spreading innovation evenly and equitably across the country there remains much that we can do to help accelerate the pace of change.  Here at the Innovation Agency we recognised that we needed a way to share our knowledge of innovations more widely and openly, so even more health and care professionals can benefit from it. We also wanted a forum to capture local challenges and difficulties so innovators can get involved earlier in the process and collaborate on producing products that will really help to drive transformational change.

And so, the Innovation Agency Exchange has been developed to act as the hub for all our Innovation Exchange activity.

It is the place to go to search for inspirational innovation, to find some assistance in addressing an issue you are grappling with, and to collaborate and share ideas that will facilitate change across the health and care system. 

I hope you will return to it again and again and help us achieve our vision of providing a home for great ideas and life-changing collaborations. 


Laura Boland

Programme Manager

The Innovation Agency