How we partner

We believe that we can achieve more by working in partnership. Delivering innovative care relies on breaking silos between the public sector, academia, the health and tech industry and their funders so that collectively we can best support the innovation ecosystem.

A key part of our role is to convene people and organisations from across industries and communities involved in the delivery of health and care. We do this to strengthen cross sector ways of working and help ensure that opportunities for collaboration across the innovation ecosystem are maximised to the benefit of patients and the local economy.

Notably we work closely with a number of partners across the innovation ecosystem in our region on joint events and initiatives for innovators. These partners include Health Enterprise East, University of East Anglia Health and Social Care Partners, and a number of organisations in the Cambridge early-stage health and life sciences ecosystem such as Start Codon, the Bradfield Centre and One HealthTech. We play to each other’s skills and don’t hesitate to refer innovators to partner organisations that we feel they would benefit from a relationship with.

Below we have outlined some other examples of how we work in partnership. We are always interested to hear about new partners so please do get in touch if you think you could help us deliver our purpose to turn great ideas into positive health impact.

Government funded organisations

Professional groups


Government funded organisations

We are funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement to enable the adoption and spread of national innovations and patient safety programmes and we also work with affiliated NHS groups including NHSX and NHS Digital on shared initiatives such as enabling the digital transformation of our region and during the COVID-19 outbreak. Some of the other government funded groups we work with include:

NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative

We have close ties with the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), which is the partnership sponsored by government which aims to bring the NHS and the UK’s life sciences industry more closely together.  Our role here is to support the roll-out of the Rapid Uptake Products across our region. Our CEO Piers Ricketts is also a member of the AAC board.

NHS Innovation Accelerator

NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) fellows are exceptional individuals being supported to scale their high-impact, evidence-based innovations. Fellows share a passion for learning and scaling innovation for patient benefit. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, including clinical, industry and academia.

Eastern AHSN, as a member of the AHSN Network plays a full role in supporting the NIA fellows and their products across our region. A number of NIA fellows have also come from our region.

Health Education England

We worked closely with Health Education England and the NHS Leadership Academy to deliver a series of roadshows across the region in 2019 to showcase future tech and launched a tech buddies scheme to help break down silos between tech companies in the region and people working in the NHS and help inspire them about the future of tech. We also work in partnership with them to deliver a series of medical director masterclasses, which bring together the medical directors across the region to hear from distinguished guest speakers and share learnings on leadership, innovation and clinical governance.

Academic Health Science Centre (Cambridge University Health Partners)

We are lucky to have a close relationship with Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP), which is one of the eight Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) in England and the only one in our region.  The mission of the AHSCs is to ensure that patients in each of the eight designated centres reap the benefits of the world-class research, clinicians and industry based in their area, which in the case of CUHP is Cambridge and the surrounding area.

We work frequently with CUHP both to pilot innovations in the region, such as an exciting new cancer diagnostics product that came out of the University of Cambridge, and to market the story of the Cambridge health and life sciences cluster to attract industry investment.

Mark Avery, our Director of Health Informatics, is jointly funded by Eastern AHSN and CUHP and is the programme director for Gut Reaction, the Health Data Research Hub for inflammatory bowel disease funded by HDR UK. Additionally, some other members of the CUHP team are co-located at our offices.

The partners in CUHP are the University of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

NIHR ARC East of England

The NIHR ARC East of England is a five-year collaboration between Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and four universities in our region.  It also brings together many of our regional NHS organisations, patient charities and relevant industry partners. The ARC is one of 15 Applied Research Collaborations funded by NIHR, the largest funder of health and care research in the UK. ARCs support applied health and care research that responds to and meets the needs of local populations and local health and care systems.  We work closely with the ARC in a number of areas and our CEO Piers Ricketts is a member of the ARC board.

Department of International Trade

We work with the Department of International Trade on expositions to promote innovations from the region and further international trade opportunities in addition to attract inward investment and position our region as a location for innovative businesses to settle. Recently this included showcasing some of the innovations we have been working with on a visit to China with the purpose of business development, investment and collaboration.

Professional groups

We work with a number of industry groups nationally and regionally. For example we worked with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and Mid and South Essex STP and GSK to develop a framework for cross-sector collaboration and the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) to develop a landscape review for MedTech innovations.



We can introduce innovators to a network of investment organisations and angels in our community who specialise in supporting health and tech innovations.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about how we partner to deliver positive health impact, we want to hear from you.

Contact us