England - Health Innovation North West Coast Ecosystem is ECHAlliance Ecosystem of the Month – December

England – Health Innovation North West Coast Ecosystem is ECHAlliance Ecosystem of the Month – December
This month we are featuring our England – Health Innovation North West Coast Ecosystem as our Ecosystem of the Month.
United Kingdom

What ecosystem are we in?


Health Innovation North West Coast (NWC) supports the discovery, development and deployment of innovations and improvements in health and care across the North West Coast of England.


There are 15 Health Innovation Networks across England. Each supports a defined geographic area. Health Innovation North West Coast, however, has developed a support offer for international innovators to do business with the National Health Service (NHS) across England, and not just in the North West.


NHS England is one of the world’s largest publicly-funded healthcare systems, by budget, number of employees and amount of people served. It includes all types of care such as primary, secondary and long term care, dentistry, ophthalmology and ambulance services.  The NHS net expenditure is in excess of £130 billion and it spends £6 billion annually on health technologies deployed across over 200 hospitals and 7,000 primary care practices.



What is the approximate stakeholder breakdown of your ecosystem?


Health Innovation North West Coast supports international companies to bring innovations into the NHS throughout England, Scotland and Wales not only in the North West Coast. However, our international team has access to a particularly excellent network in the North West England through our colleagues.


There are two NHS providers of healthcare in the North West Coast. They are called Integrated Care Boards (ICBs): Cheshire and Merseyside ICB and Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB.


Cheshire and Merseyside ICB serves a diverse population of 2.7 million people with 349 primary care physician practices and 590 pharmacies. It includes 17 hospitals, some being large acute care and others being world renowned specialist hospitals. Geographically, Cheshire and Merseyside ICB includes some of the countries most deprived and wealthy areas, and both urban (city of Liverpool being the largest city) and rural populations.


Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB is smaller in both population and geography, however they have a strong track record of innovative thinking, with many solutions having been developed by in-house teams.


Health Innovation NWC is also connected to thought leaders and teaching clinicians at many local universities, such as the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.


The Liverpool City region itself has made innovation a priority. The region has secured £2 billion of innovation infrastructure investment over the last 5 years and currently has £1 billion of initiatives in delivery. One of its specialist sectors is life sciences and it has two nationally significant science and innovation campuses. The Knowledge Quarter Liverpool and UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) northern base at Sci-Tech Daresbury (where Health Innovation North West Coast has its office).


For these reasons, the North West Coast is the perfect place to introduce innovations in the UK.



Who are the top 3 champions from your Ecosystem?

By nature, our whole purpose is forming connections. These are our biggest champions:

Cheshire and Merseyside ICB –

Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB –

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital –

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre –

The Walton Centre –

Liverpool Women’s Hospital –

Liverpool University Hospitals Trust –

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals –

Wirral University Teaching Hospitals –

NHS North West Leadership Academy –

Advancing Quality Alliance –

National Institute for Health Research

Applied Research Collaboration, North West Coast –

Champs Public Health Collaborative –

University of Liverpool –

Liverpool John Moores University –

Edge Hill University –

University of Central Lancashire –

Liverpool Growth Platform –

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority –

Sci-Tech Daresbury –

IICON Infection Innovation Consortium –

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine –

Lyva Labs –



What EU funding/collaboration are you involved with, or you would like to be part of?


As Health Innovation NWC we are an EIT Health partner and a catalyser in the UK for the EIT Bridgehead Programme.



What are the key priorities and themes for your ecosystem?


The key priorities of our ecosystem are:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory
  • Mental Health
  • Medicines
  • Maternity
  • Cancer
  • Support for NHS operations



What is your primary strength as an ecosystem?


Simply, Health Innovation NWC are the NHS talking to the NHS. We are a publicly funded partner in the public health system. Our purpose is to bring innovation successfully into the NHS. Our colleagues can have the confidence that the innovations we are working with international companies to introduce are in the best interest of patients and the UK’s public health system. They know we are looking for innovations that meet the demands of our system locally and nationally. They know we are looking for the best innovations possible, and that we won’t support introduce innovations that will not work in our market. 




Which are the main hospitals in your ecosystem and which are the most active in your ecosystems?


Our largest hospitals are Royal Liverpool University Hospitals, Aintree University Hospital, Arrowe Park Hospital and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals. However, we have many world-renowned specialist centres, including Alder Hey (paediatrics), the Walton Centre (neurology and neurosurgery), Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Our ecosystem also includes the North West Ambulance Service, which serves 7 million people across approximately 5,400 square miles. Every year they receive approximately 1.7 million emergency calls, respond to over a million emergency incidents, and make 1.3 million non-emergency patient journeys.


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