The Innovation Ecosystem Programme (IEP) is an ambitious programme of work – being led by the National Director for Life Sciences at NHS England – designed to improve the UK’s health innovation ecosystem.

As a network, we have been contributing to the programme through sharing our learning from the lipids management (including introduction of Inclisiran) pathway transformation project; supporting the development of the medtech pathway; and feeding our own conceptual model of the Innovation Ecosystem into their blueprint discussions. Professor Gary Ford, CEO Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley, is co-leading Workstream One, one of four workstreams, alongside Dr Sam Roberts, CEO NICE, and our Chair, Richard Stubbs, sits on the Programme’s advisory board.

Since October 2023, Health Innovation Wessex, Health Innovation South West and Health Innovation West of England have also been supporting insights gathering for the Innovation Ecosystem Programme, through a series of learning collaboratives.

The learning collaboratives, which use the Wessex-developed rapid insight approaches to identify learning points around enablers and barriers to adoption, have focused on testing the nine hypotheses developed as part of Workstream One, to understand how the research and innovation ecosystem contributes to and could enable localities to bring the hypotheses to life. So far, each learning collaborative event has attracted around 45 participants from the health innovation network, NHS systems and the innovator workforce.

The thematic analysis will be delivered to the Innovation Ecosystem team to inform an NHS innovation blueprint (Workstream Three) to strengthen the reach and impact of novel health solutions.

Health Innovation Wessex, Health Innovation South West and Health Innovation West of England are supporting the IRLSS with this work from October 2023 to March 2024.

More information on the Innovation Ecosystem Programme

The Innovation Ecosystem Programme (IEP) is being led by Roland Sinker and supported by the Innovation, Research and Life Sciences Strategy (IRLSS) team. It is being delivered in collaboration with the Health Innovation Network, NHS, central government, regulatory bodies, academia, industry bodies, as well as patient and public bodies.

Its main aim is to conduct a thorough review of the current research and innovation landscape supporting England’s health and care system, initially reporting in May 2024.

How is it structured?

The four workstreams are:

  • Workstream One: Learning by doing – Working with health innovation leadership in local systems to refine the blueprint of how to improve research mobilisation and the adoption and spread of innovation.
  • Workstream Two: Immediate actions – Reviewing existing work to develop an immediate set of medium-term actions to improve the ecosystem.
  • Workstream Three: The NHS Research and Innovation Blueprint – Developing a conceptual operating model for the health innovation landscape drawn from a full understanding of how the current ecosystem works and learnings from the other workstreams.
  • Workstream Four: Preparing for the NHS of tomorrow – Undertaking targeted thought leadership work to better understand how to best prepare for the NHS of the future.

The programme will also:

  • Identify regions delivering multi-partner research and innovation transformation programmes aligned with the four OLS missions (dementia; obesity/cardiovascular disease; early cancer diagnosis; and mental health).
  • Consolidate regions into clinical learning collaboratives, to create adaptive solutions tailored to local needs, and influence national policy based on direct feedback from partner localities.

Further information

If you’d like to know more about the outputs from our recent learning collaboratives and our pan-regional insight for the Innovation Ecosystem Programme, please contact Cheryl Davies, Senior Programme Manager, Health Innovation Wessex or Charlotte Forder, Associate Director – Communications, Health Innovation Wessex.

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