Four Academic Health Science Networks in the south of England have joined forces with university business incubator SETsquared to set up a new healthcare technologies programme to cost effectively improve patient care.

The programme is being launched to help accelerate the faster adoption of cost effective innovation into healthcare across the region. In the first round, up to 300 participants will be offered access to seminars, three-day courses, tailored coaching and mentoring run by SETsquared.

© iStock - Pali Rao

The AHSNs, created by the government in 2013, bring together NHS, universities and industry to identify, test and roll out improvements to the health service. SETsquared has supported more than 1,000 start-ups and innovators over 11 years.

Lars Sundstrom, director of enterprise and translation at West of England AHSN, said: "This initiative will provide a major boost to innovation locally and is a great example of how AHSNs can work together to take advantage of local centres of excellence like SETsquared."

Simon Bond, innovation director of SETsquared, said: "We have extensive experience of helping innovators get their ideas off the ground. We are excited to participate in a programme of this scale and ambition."

The programme will be available in the regions covered by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex; South West; Wessex and West of England AHSNs. The five universities that make up SETsquared - Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey - are members of the four AHSNs involved.

Last year, 15 Academic Health Science Networks were founded by NHS England, with a brief to improve population health and help generate economic growth in England.

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