The NHS Innovation Accelerator has officially launched its call for applications to the 2024 intake.

Health and social care innovators with proven solutions are invited to apply to join the accelerator programme, which has been designed to support entrepreneurs in scaling their solutions into and across NHS England.

Applications close on 22nd October 2023.

NIA alumni include healthcare staffing solution Locum’s Nest, skin cancer melanoma tracking app SkinVision, patient-controlled records system Patients Know Best and The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA).

Launched in 2015 and chaired by Professor Sir Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, NIA is supported by the Accelerated Access Collaborative and the Academic Health Science Network. 

Working with NICE, NHS England, the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), the MHRA and industry organisations, the accelerator offers a bespoke programme of support to help innovators develop a partnership-led roadmap to scaling across the health and social care ecosystem.

Through access to mentors with extensive understanding of key health and social care challenges, the NIA offers an unparalleled depth of understanding and a uniquely mature approach to supporting growth.

The NIA currently supports 34 NIA Fellows representing 34 innovations, with an additional 63 alumni. To date, members have collectively launched their solutions across 3,171 NHS sites, have helped to create 1,244 jobs, and have won over 221 awards. Revenue in the UK from NIA innovations in the last year alone has surpassed over £18m.

Successful applicants to the NIA will benefit from three years of support, followed by life-long access to the prestigious alumni network and peer community.

Accelerator Fellows participate in a focused education programme to gain insight into topics such as the NHS procurement process and pathway needs. The support offered is tailored to the Fellow’s requirements and knowledge gaps, focusing both on the innovator and on the innovation.

They also benefit from support and advice provided by experienced mentors, including Hassan Chaudhury, Adrian Downing, Archna Sharma and Pam Garside.

The themes for the 2024 intake are:

  • Maternity (Adults)
  • Mental Health/ Severe Mental Illness (Adults, and Children and Young People)
  • Cancer (Adults)
  • Respiratory Disease / Asthma (Adults, and Children and Young People)
  • Hypertension/ Cardiovascular Disease (Adults)
  • Diabetes (Children and Young People)
  • Epilepsy (Children and Young People)
  • Oral Health (Children and Young People)
  • Carbon Reduction/Net Zero

“We’re looking forward to receiving another strong set of applications this year, and to meeting our new cohort of innovators who are committed to creating an NHS that is fit for the future,” said Konrad Dobschuetz, NHS Innovation Accelerator national director.

Tom Whicher, founder at DrDoctor & a NIA Alumni, added: “I joined the NIA to understand how to scale my organisation successfully and to learn what it means to be a leader in a larger organisation. 

“During my time as a Fellow, I was able to build my NHS network, build credibility and build contacts, all whilst being upskilled and mentored throughout DrDoctor’s journey from startup into scaleup phase.”

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