The Innovation Exchange (IE) is an AHSN Network coordinated approach, commissioned by the Office for Life Sciences, to identify, select and support the adoption of innovations that improve clinical outcomes, deliver better patient experiences, drive down the costs of care and deliver economic growth.

The IE contains four key elements that build on AHSNs’ unique expertise and cross-sector connections, enabling us to identify common challenges and quickly bring people and organisations together to develop, test and spread proven innovation.

  • Needs articulation
    • Supporting our NHS and social care partners – clinical and managerial – and drawing on the lived experience of the public, patients, carers and families to explore and describe the needs that could benefit from innovative approaches, and what we could do as a system to help improve their experiences and outcomes. We also support our local NHS partners to identify proven solutions to existing challenges, often looking across the AHSN Network to find what’s working elsewhere
  • Industry support and signposting
    • To help innovators progress from idea to uptake, our Bridging the Gap services provide support from the development of value proposition, which enables innovators to clearly articulate how their solution is able to meet an identified challenge, through to scaling up nationally
  • Real world validation
    • Innovations that need real world validations are tested and evaluated in local systems. This enables the AHSNs and the innovators to understand the evidence and information needed to accelerate the adoption of innovation in a variety of settings
  • Spread and adoption of supported innovations
    • The AHSN Network supports adoption of innovations identified by the Accelerated Access Collaborative and those that the AHSNs identify for national spread. It also identifies and supports the adoption of innovations on a regional and cross-regional basis. Innovations that have been through the Innovation Exchange locally are shared with the wider network where similar challenges exist.

Examples of our work across these four areas can be seen below. If you want to find out more about what’s happening nationally, please visit

Articulating need


Real world validation

Spread and adoption