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Academic Health Science Networks will play key role in NHS ‘test beds’ innovation search

England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks are playing a key role in identifying ‘test beds’ where the best innovations from around the world will be put on trial.

The test beds will look at new technologies, digital services and other innovations with the potential to deliver big benefits to NHS patients and taxpayers.

The programme will identify up to five ‘test beds’ that will receive national support. They may include combinations of GPs, hospitals, community health teams, social care and the voluntary sector, and range from small groups to whole areas.

Innovators from industry, the voluntary sector or the NHS are being invited to put forward new technologies that, in combination with innovations in how health and care services are delivered, could be expanded quickly and widely.

Prof Gary Ford CBE, Chief Executive of the Oxford AHSN, said: “We will be applying to be a test bed site, building on the expertise of our academic, health and life science partners – as well as our own programmes aimed at delivering innovation to patients more rapidly.”

The application process opens today and closes on 29 May. More details can be found at