Applications open for the 2021 NHS Innovation Accelerator

Applications for the NHS Innovation Accelerator are now open!

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) – an NHS England initiative supported by England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and hosted at UCLPartners – has launched its call for applications representing high impact, evidence-based innovations.

The call is open to local, national and international healthcare innovations supported by passionate individuals from any background, including SMEs, clinicians, charity/third sector and academics.

In alignment with the current NHS priorities of COVID-19 Reset and Recovery, innovations put forward this year must address at least one of the following themes:

  • NHS response to COVID-19
  • Mental health
  • Supporting the workforce

The application period is open until 16 October 2020 at midnight.

Interested in applying?
Visit the NIA website to learn more about the application criteria and process, find dates for informational webinars, and access the online application portal:

For further information, contact the NHS Innovation Accelerator at

About the NHS Innovation Accelerator

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) is an award-winning NHS England initiative and delivered in partnership with the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), hosted at UCLPartners, it supports delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan priorities by accelerating uptake of high impact innovations for patient, population and NHS staff benefit, and providing real time practical insights on spread to inform national strategy.

Launched in 2015, the NIA is chaired by Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director.

Who should apply to the NIA?

The NIA call is open to all types of innovation (including digital, medtech, workforce and models of care) and welcomes applicants across a range of professional backgrounds (including clinical, academia, SMEs, large corporates, public-sector, charitable, and not-for-profit organisations).

The NIA particularly welcomes female applicants and applicants from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, as they are currently underrepresented amongst our Fellows.

The NIA does not support start-up or early-stage innovations. It supports mature innovations with an existing evidence base, already being used in the NHS or elsewhere, to spread. In doing so, the NIA captures and shares real-world insight, learning and expertise on how to spread new solutions across the NHS in England.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate:

  • How their innovation addresses one or more of this year’s themes:
    • NHS response to COVID-19
    • Mental health
    • Supporting the workforce
  • How their innovation leads to significant patient outcomes for significantly lower cost
  • That their innovation is supported by an evidence-base and is ready to be diffused across the NHS
  • A passion for learning and for sharing their insight widely
  • A commitment to scaling evidence-based innovations for patient and population benefit

Additionally, this year applicants are asked to demonstrate how their innovation addresses health inequalities, either by actively minimising inequality or by proactively ensuring the innovation does not exacerbate inequality.

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