Wealth creation is an explicit element of the AHSN licence. There are three aspects to it:
There are a number of benefits from wealth creation:
Wessex AHSN’s wealth strategy seeks to improve the opportunities for Wessex (and non-Wessex) based organisations to develop new products and services in the region, in the UK and internationally. We will encourage inward investment into Wessex, whether from the private sector, e.g. companies deciding to relocate or establish a presence in Wessex, or the public sector, e.g. attracting funding from the public sector or the European Union.
Wessex AHSN’s wealth strategy has seven elements:
Wessex AHSN will be the main route for commercial engagement with the Health and Life Sciences sector in the region, bringing together the public sector and industry. We will focus on the 'right' innovation and the 'right' companies, and balance the demand from industry for pushing products/services with creating the right environment to pull products/services into the NHS.
We will identify innovators and support them to deliver health and wealth benefits, and play a key role as a 'broker' – making introductions, providing signposting, insightful assessment and the best possible advice. We will develop partnerships with a network of entrepreneurs to facilitate the creation and spread of innovation. We want to unlock the potential of the NHS to stimulate regional growth by working with local industry. We will also support projects that help deliver our core priorities and where there is potential economic benefit.
Government departments, industry associations and trade bodies are very important, eg BIS, TSB, KTNs, LEPs, UKTI, Chambers of Commerce, investment networks, etc, as well as organisations such as ABPI, ABHI, EMIG, NICE and other AHSNs. We will lead on funding bids and tap into a variety of funding sources to encourage a pipeline of future innovation.
We will act as a 'market maker' matching NHS demand with existing industry solutions or new product development, and enable industry and the NHS to co-develop products and services and provide market access for the former, eg the Test Bed programme. We will also support local employment initiatives particularly with regard to the health and life sciences sector.
We will identify and communicate business opportunities to industry, advise on funding routes and help build business cases for adoption (including potential investment). This might take the form of 'challenges' where we pull teams together and manage projects to ensure delivery. We will actively seek partnerships with organisations that can complement our activity in these areas.
Approximately 10% of the workforce is employed in the health economy with their demand for goods and services contributing to UK GDP. In addition, of the £100 billion-plus health budget, approximately 30% is spent on products or invested in capital projects.
In Wessex there are approximately 250 companies in the Medtech, Medbiotech, Industrial biotech and Pharma sectors that are on the Bioscience and Health Technology Database, employing around 9000 people and with a combined turnover of approximately £2.5 billion. The Medtech sector which provides services/consultancy, assistive technologies, diagnostic equipment and IT solutions is the most important in terms of employment and the number of businesses (99% of which are Small or Medium Enterprises or SMEs, with less than 249 employees). SMEs represent over 99% of all private sector businesses accounting for nearly 60% of employment and 50% of turnover. They play a key role in economic growth by driving competition, stimulating innovation, generating wealth and as part of the supply chain.
We will invest at risk for a commercial return and create our own investment fund. We might look to take an equity stake or agree a royalty/licensing model, seek additional funding where appropriate and help organisations raise finance. We will provide knowledge and financial assistance to ensure the development of innovative products with the potential for improving health and wealth.
We have a robust process for evaluating the potential value of ideas, the support required, potential risks and likely success, but one which is also agile and encourages innovation, opportunity and growth. We will select and prioritise projects with input from stakeholders and score the potential value (medical/wealth benefits), alignment (with strategy and capabilities) and feasibility (how easy it would be to develop and/or implement).