The Health Innovation Exchange (HIE) programme was launched 12 months to maximise opportunities in a sector that is worth more than £400bn across the world. Tony McDonough reports
More than two dozen firms in the Liverpool city region have benefited from a £3.14m fund that supports new innovations in the healthcare sector.
The Health Innovation Exchange (HIE) programme was launched 12 months to maximise opportunities in a sector that is worth more than £400bn across the world.
Part funded by he European Regional Development Fund, HIE aims to accelerate innovation for the health and care sectors through collaboration with the NHS, academia and industry to co-develop new or existing services, products or processes.
It brings together some of the best regional minds in health, care and business who have the expertise and resources to take products and services from ideas to market.
By working with the programme, businesses can take advantage of knowledge and expertise within the partnership to help develop solutions to joint challenges.
Its overall aim is to catalyse businesses in the Liverpool city region to become market leaders in health, well-being, care and innovation by encouraging the development of innovative products, services and solutions.
A showcase event was held at Liverpool Life Sciences to mark the first year where more than 80 attendees were told that 27 businesses had so far received help from the HIE. Over the three years of its delivery, the programme has a target to support 80 businesses.
Dr Simon Bowers, chair and clinical director at Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Ageing populations and the rise of chronic diseases are major challenges for the UK, placing considerable strain on our health and social care services, which need new and innovative ways to relieve this strain.
“By harnessing the collective expertise of the NHS and universities, the HIE aims to stimulate collaboration with businesses, enhancing the region’s capacity as a centre of excellence.”
Liz Mear, chief executive at programme partner the Innovation Agency, added: “The Liverpool city region already has very strong expertise in health and life sciences. The HIE is building upon this to make the region the best in the UK for healthcare innovation.
“The programme is for any small or medium sized businesses who are developing products or services for the health and care sectors, or who have existing products that can be repurposed for the sectors.”
To be eligible, businesses must be looking to develop innovative products or services within the health and care sectors and be based within the areas that make up the Liverpool City Region: Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Halton, Knowsley and Wirral.
To find out more about the programme click here.