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Small and Medium-Sized (SME) Enterprise Innovation Fund

26th August 2020

The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) is working closely with Mercia Asset Management (MAM); a leading investment business, to help build and support healthcare businesses across the West Midlands (WM).

The SME Innovation Fund will provide investment as well as links to the health and care system and academic communities. In doing so the fund will support innovations that have the potential to deliver a high impact for society, grow the reputation of the West Midlands health services and lead the adoption of new innovations across the healthcare infrastructure.

How can we meaningfully engage with our communities to ensure our investments are meaningful and relevant to the WM region?


The WMAHSN SME Innovation fund has already supported a number of companies to grow to date and we now have funds available to invest into a new venture.  We are keen to review and develop our application and approval process to increase engagement with our regions citizens and communities to improve the quality of the companies we are investing in.  The SME fund is outlined below but we would very much like your input on how we can do this in a meaningful way.


We are looking for innovations that align to the following WMAHSN strategic priorities:

  • Mental Health Resilience – Improving health outcomes, access and diagnosis for patients and population of the WM through supporting the system to implement and evaluate integrated pathways and new models of care, new technologies and methodologies
  • Medicines Optimisation and Management: Support organisations and individuals with the infrastructure and capability to improve unnecessary prescribing, reduce prescribing errors and support the interface between secondary and primary care – improving quality, patient safety, and experience, whilst reducing costs.
  •  Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Management (CVD): Support organisations and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) /Integrated Care Services ( ICS’s) to implement new models of preventative care in CVD, improving quality and reducing costs.
  • Patient Safety and Improvement: Support the improvement of patient safety across the WM geography with a focus of care homes, deteriorating patient and transformation of maternity and neonates.
  • Driving Digital Transformation: Support the WM to develop digitally supported solutions for effective, efficient, and safe healthcare

 We are particularly interested in those innovations that support the health and care system to respond and recover from COVID-19 to uptake various innovations, aligning where possible to existing or planned pathway transformation.


We have £450,000 to award to successful applicants that meet the fund criteria.  This will be awarded as convertible loans of between £25,000 and £1000,000.


Successful applicants will receive a convertible loan of between £25,000 and £1000,000 which allows the innovator to either repay the loan in full or the investors to convert the loan it has made to the company into equity, which means shares in the company on pre-agreed terms.  Any income repaid or received will be reinvested into future rounds of the SME Innovation Fund.  In addition, successful applicants will receive the following:

  •  Access to future investment capital
  • Regular mentor workshops from industry experts including experienced life sciences entrepreneurs.
  • Key contacts in the NHS and healthcare sector


  1. Applications will be submitted via our Meridian Innovation Exchange meridian.wmahsn.org
  2. Triaged by our Meridian Industry Gateway
  3. Due diligence being conducted by MAM
  4. Review and feedback from Community/Patient Group’s
  5. Applications that are successful through these stages will be asked to present at a panel where feedback and funding will be discussed and agreed.


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