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NHS accelerator launches international call for high-impact innovations

5 September 2018

A NEW search for the world’s best healthcare innovations to help improve patients’ lives launches on 5 September, focusing on key NHS priorities including mental health, primary care, and prevention and early intervention in cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) – an NHS England initiative supported by the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and hosted at UCLPartners – is now recruiting up to 12 Fellows representing high-impact, evidence-based innovations, sourced nationally and internationally, which address one or more of the following themes:

  • Mental health: To ensure that people at risk of or experiencing mental health problems are identified early, and can rapidly access effective and convenient care and support.
  • Primary care: To support and strengthen primary care in its aim to ensure high levels of quality, satisfaction and timely access to diagnosis and treatment as close to home as possible.
  • Prevention and early intervention in cancer and CVD: To support people to adopt healthy behaviours linked to the prevention of cancer and/or CVD, and/or to ensure earlier diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

The NIA aims to accelerate uptake and spread of high-impact innovations across England’s NHS. The NIA Programme Board is chaired by Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England. In its first three years, the accelerator has supported 36 Fellows to deliver uptake of 37 innovations in 1,423 additional NHS sites; with over £45M raised in external funding, 226 jobs created, 52 awards won, and 21 innovations selling internationally. The 4th Call, now open until 24 October 2018, aims to recruit up to 12 new Fellows. These Fellows will be exceptional individuals with a passion and commitment for scaling innovation for greater patient benefit, and for sharing their learnings widely.

The Call is open to local, national and international health and industry innovators, SMEs, charity/third sector, clinicians and academics. Applicants have until midnight on 24 October 2018 to apply, with opportunities to sign up to face-to-face events and online Q&A sessions to receive additional support in the application process.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator is one of the flagship programmes of the AHSN Network, and plays a vital role in creating the conditions and cultural change necessary for evidence-based innovations to be taken up faster and more systematically through the NHS. Since launching in 2015, the NIA has supported 37 high-impact, evidence-based innovations to spread nationally, resulting in savings of over £12 million for England’s health and care system in its first year alone.

Mike Hannay, Chair of The AHSN Network

To find out more about the Fellows and innovations currently supported by the NIA, visit

Follow @NHSAccelerator on Twitter to see supporting testimonials and impact case studies from current Fellows.