There are 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) across England, established by NHS England in 2013 to spread innovation at pace and scale – improving health and generating economic growth. Each AHSN works across a distinct geography serving a different population in each region.

We share a common purpose of “transforming lives through innovation”. Find out more in our video.


We are the only bodies that connect NHS and social care, academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry. We act as catalysts that create the right conditions to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on ‘transforming lives through innovation’. AHSNs are uniquely placed to identify and spread health innovation at pace and scale; speeding up the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations.

Although small organisations, we support large regional networks. Our impact comes from our ability to bring people, resources and organisations together quickly, delivering benefits that could not be achieved alone.

This Innovation Pathway summarises how AHSNs support the entire innovation life cycle.


Everything AHSNs do is driven by two imperatives: improving health and generating economic growth in our regions. We are the only partnership bodies that bring together all partners across a regional health economy to improve the health of local communities.

We have a remit from NHS England to occupy a unique space outside of the usual NHS service contract and performance management structures. This enables us to foster collaborative solutions. We use our local knowledge and harness the influence of our partners to drive change on the ground and integrate research into health improvement.

We are interested in seeing healthcare businesses thrive and grow, creating jobs and bringing in investment to the UK, as the healthcare system improves and we transform lives through innovation.


Our Atlas of Solutions in Healthcare showcases some of the best examples from across the AHSNs of how to spread high impact innovation across the health and care system.

Our impact report shows the difference we are making for patients and the public, for innovators, for clinicians and for the healthcare system.