An Academic Health Science System Empowered by Devolution

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The Greater Manchester health and social care system surpassed a key milestone in Autumn as it completed bringing Greater Manchester’s Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) into a single entity – Health Innovation Manchester.

This signifies a new and exciting era for the city region in terms of collaborative working between health and social care commissioners, providers and industry innovators: the UK’s first and only Academic Health Science System (AHSS) empowered by devolution to tackle the challenges on the demand and supply side of introducing innovation into health and social care services at pace and scale.

Rowena Burns, Executive Chair, said “Health Innovation Manchester’s role is to seek out and bring forward a constant flow of (industry-led) innovations, accelerating them through the evaluation process and supporting them through our devolved decision-making structures so they are accepted at pace system-wide.

We have listened to, and are all too familiar with the challenges and frustrations faced by industry, such as fragmented and slow decision-making, lengthy and uncertain routes to adoption, and structures that do not assist collaboration and coordination.

Health Innovation Manchester is addressing these challenges. We provide a clear view of system needs, a single gateway into the system, a single innovation pathway, and an enhanced level of assurance in terms of adoption following proof of concept. This is also supported by our emerging world-class informatics infrastructure and active development of assets that attract the best industry innovators from across the world.”

Leveraging the city region’s entire spectrum of exceptional academic and clinical assets, Health Innovation Manchester brings together basic research, translational research, clinical demand, and industry know-how and investment under a single umbrella; focused wholly on the needs of a population of 2.8m people.

Although in its relative infancy Health Innovation Manchester has already celebrated some huge achievements, not least, signing the UK’s first memorandum of understanding with the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry. They are also spearheading several high profile exemplar projects with the potential to deliver significant benefits to the system, and the health and well-being of citizens.

Based at the biomedical complex, Citylabs 1.0 at the heart of the Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, they have already signalled their intention to open an additional office on Alderley Science Park in the very near future; highlighting their commitment to developing strong links with businesses at the Park.

For more information about Health Innovation Manchester visit

Katie Droogan