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AHSN Network instrumental in generating over £462 million of UK investment during pandemic

25th June 2021

Over the last year[1], £462 million of investment has been leveraged and more than 1,400 jobs have been either created or protected as a result of work by the AHSN Network.

These figures have been released as part of our 20-21 AHSN Network Impact Report, which looks at the collective impacts of England’s 15 AHSNs.

Economic growth impacts are drawn from company surveys and demonstrate remarkable progress in the health innovation and life sciences sectors. This new release means that over the last three years, AHSNs have contributed to £1 billion of investment.

Healthcare and technology businesses across the UK have been essential in national efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, supporting patients and the NHS and social care staff who care for them. Investment and support for this growing sector has never been so vital.

Commenting on the new figures, Nicola Hutchinson, Innovation Exchange and Economic Growth Director for the AHSN Network and Chief Executive at NENC AHSN, said:

“The impact our industry is having both from a patient and healthcare system perspective and supporting UK economic recovery is huge. I am inspired every day by the hard work, creativity and perseverance that the companies and individuals we support continually demonstrate.

“I am also extremely proud of our AHSN teams across the country who have worked their socks off during a very difficult year to help deliver transformative health and care services. Every day our teams support health innovators from idea to implementation, so that they can in turn support our NHS staff and improve the lives of patients.

“It is more important than ever to provide the right kind of guidance to companies who can grow and help our nation to recover from the health, wellbeing and economic challenges we face.”

The AHSN Network has supported many companies and individuals to support the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, when the UK Government issued an urgent procurement call for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), one of the AHSNs worked with Dräger UK to develop a proposal around its manufacturing plans. Dräger UK needed to ascertain where to concentrate their offer around mask production and the AHSN was able to use their networks to establish the model and type of mask best suited for the NHS. In addition, the AHSN engaged with NHS Trusts to test the demand and requirements of the PPE by frontline staff.

Dräger UK was successful in winning a contract, has set up a manufacturing facility creating 40 jobs and continues to produce respiratory protection masks for front-line workers.

Commenting on the support, Alex Duthie, UK Sales Director for Dräger, said:

“The AHSN was invaluable to our bid for the Government PPE contract. They helped us to build our credentials as a supplier to the NHS. When the opportunity arose, the AHSN team were there to help every step of the way, and we couldn’t have done it without their expertise.”  

In 2020-21, the AHSNs have supported 2,888 companies, entering into 124 long term strategic partnerships.

Investment in this work continues to show impressive results. The AHSN Network’s positive contribution to ‘UK PLC’ far exceeds the £13 million annual funding received from the Office of Life Sciences for their economic growth commission, with impacts growing annually.

For full details of our 20-21 impacts, read our Impact Report.


[1] From April 2020- end of March 2021.

Source: AHSN Network

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