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Q&A: What you need to know about the Health Enterprise Hub Innovation Exchange

The Local Growth Hub has launched a new funding programme aimed at supporting the growth of businesses with healthcare products and services in the Liverpool City Region. Through the Health Enterprise Hub (HEH) Innovation Exchange, businesses will be able to access expert help and advice, industry support, economics expertise, market insights, product or service repurposing guidance and relevant events.

We spoke to Dr. Andrew Rose, sector manager for life sciences and health at the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership & Innovation Agency, to find out more about the programme:

LGH: How will the HEH Innovation Exchange benefit the Liverpool City Region?

AR: “Health and care provision is one of the fastest growing global markets, with global spend increasing at around 4.3 percent a year. Services across the Liverpool City Region are also being transformed, with increasing investment in innovation. The HEH Innovation Exchange project was established to capitalize on these trends by helping businesses to grow. The Innovation Exchange accelerates the development and commercialisation of innovative SME products and services for the health and care sector. It is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.”

What sort of businesses will be able to receive support through the project?

“The project has been developed to support SMEs in the Liverpool City Region. Colleagues supporting the project can talk SMEs though the process of confirming their eligibility for support.”

What support will the project be able to give businesses?

“Eligible businesses can receive support and advice to help them develop and roll-out products and services into the health and care sector. Partner activities will include:

  • Providing access to healthcare professionals, universities, other companies and members of the public to develop, co-create, test and evaluate products via collaborations and new approaches including hackathons and LCR living lab / focus group initiatives.
  • Delivering support for navigating health system deployment, marketing, commercialisation, intellectual property, regulations, information governance / data management and finance.
  • Offering health economics expertise and advice on the impact of innovations.
  • Helping to develop understanding of markets, including routes to market, healthcare system organisation, policy, trends, standards, decision making, supply chains, export and direct to consumer approaches.
  • Offering support with the repurposing of products/services from non-health fields.”

What sort of events will businesses be able to attend as part of the project?

“There will be a range of events as part of the project. These will include novel approaches to supporting the development of innovative products and services, like living labs and hackathons.”

How have local businesses benefited from other similar programmes?

“The HEH Innovation Exchange builds on other related European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) projects such as New Markets and LCR 4.0 that support SMEs to grow. As with New Markets and LCR 4.0, HEH is part of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub, which provides a joined-up approach to delivering local and national business support by actively engaging SMEs and growth businesses across the six regional local authority areas to discover the right advice and support they need to aid growth.”

You can find out more about the HEH Innovation Exchange programme on the Local Growth Hub website.