In pursuit of our smart health and care agenda, NHS Liverpool CCG is playing a formative role in a number of innovation programmes to generate intelligence, improve services and contribute to policy development. Core programmes include:

  • Part-funded (£1.8m from September 2016–August 2019) by European Regional Development Fund, Liverpool City Region HealthInnovation Exchange works to accelerate the rate at which small local businesses develop and commercialise innovative products/services for the health and care industry. It creates a collaborative community that connects SMEs to expertise and support from within the NHS and care community.

The Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx):

  • delivers specialised SME support across the innovation cycle – invention, co-creation, testing and market routes
  • stimulates and supports collaboration and co-creation to enable industry develop and test innovations in real world settings
  • generates additional finance to accelerate market growth and scale innovation

and will enhance the regions capacity as a centre of excellence in scaling smart and innovative solutions whilst enabling the health and social to deliver more effectively and efficiently.

Health Innovation Exchange delivery partners are Liverpool CCG (lead), Aimes Grid Services, Alder Hey NHS Trust, Innovation Agency, LCR LEP, LJMU and Mersey Care NHS Trust working together to support LCR SMEs, especially those working in service, digital, creative, technology and some life science sectors, that can generate healthcare and societal benefits - particularly where LCR is a market leader and has a smart specialisation strategy.

It includes supporting SMEs to repurpose their technologies (encouraging companies that do not currently work in the health, care and well-being space to apply their products and services to the sector). Hub partners are working together to:

  • improve existing business support so that it understands technology, care and health markets and has the ability to speak the same language
  • enable citizens, care and health services and practitioners with technology
  • align R&D (academia and NHS provider trusts) and delivery (industry) to the needs and expectations of end citizens
  • drive collaboration
  • retain talent
  • exploit the full potential of engagement with leading edge SMEs and regions elsewhere in Europe.

And help service and technology businesses address and tackle barriers along the market route through a coordinated activity.

The Health Innovation Exchange offer is proving very attractive to LCR SMEs with c62% of programmed businesses being identified and signed up in the 1st 12 months of activity.

  • Part-funded by Interreg Europe (£1.7m from January 2017-December 2021), Innovation in Health and Care for All (ITHACA) aims to share experiences and good practices on smart health and care innovation, to improve active and healthy ageing of the population. ITHACA involves 9 EU regions with a shared ambition to accelerate the scaling up of smart health and care innovation that can support active and healthy living and secure the triple win of economic growth, more sustainable health and care systems and improved wellbeing of Europe’s citizens. Its primary goal is to improve Structural Funds’ policies and implementation across the smart health and care innovation cycle (invention, co-creation, market testing, validation, scaling up) and to enhance regional and interregional ecosystems.

Recognising that effective, innovation cycle outcomes require enhanced cooperation between multiple stakeholders, ITHACA incorporates interregional collaboration, involving a wide range of expert stakeholders, that comprises exchange of good practices, mutual learning, peer assessment, knowledge transfer, targeted coaching and collective, co-designed policy development

The first phase of the project began in January 2017. It involves 9 EU regions – all of who are members of the CORAL (Community of Regions for Assisted Living) network.  It will deliver its results through interlinked project activities and outputs during 3 sequential steps: (1) Identification and Analysis; (2) Interregional Mutual Learning; (3) Knowledge Transfer and Action Planning.


  • ALTAS (Assistive Living Training and Skills) Programme - Led by NHS Liverpool CCG and co–funded by Erasmus (£313k from September 2015 – August 2018). ALTAS partners are pursuing activity to:


  • address the shortfall in training and skills development for care and health practitioners
  • establish a recognised standard, curriculum, course and qualification
  • stimulate demand for and increased uptake of innovation
  • provide an opportunity to continuously update the curricula and standards

This transnational collaboration includes partners from Edge Hill University (UK), Polibienestar Research Institute, University of Valencia (Spain), Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain), Municipality of Kvinesdal (Norway), University College Lillebaelt (Denmark), HfT Trust Ltd (UK), Innovation Agency (UK) and Smarter Futures (NL / UK / ES)

To date, a curriculum has been developed and mapped to the relevant educational standards for the regions involved. The key curriculum outcomes are to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that staff, individually and collaboratively, are confident in applying the most appropriate technology to users, can understand and explain the benefits of the technologies to users and can understand the use, development and impact of the technologies. In general, of technologies in people’s lives, to enable all staff to engage confidently with technologies to make informed, ethical and sustainable decisions whilst they raise awareness of the benefits of assistive living technologies with their colleagues and clients.

Key to this activity has been addressing the differential between educational requirements in health and social care across Europe.

  • STOP & GO Project – digitising home care services - Liverpool City Council is a member of the EU Sustainable Technology for Older People – Get Organised -    STOP & GO programme (

The main objectives of the programme are to:

  • develop a common procurement template for health and social care for older people
  • encourage interaction with other countries
  • stimulate technical Innovation

STOP and GO focuses upon:

  1. Procuring services enabled by technology instead of “just” innovative technology itself
  2. The technology has to exist as there is no funding for development of technology
  3. Services required

The programme will run to April 2018.Having procured the Help to Live at Home service in the prescribed way in late 2016 Liverpool City Council are now at the implementation and evaluation stage.

The eHealth Cluster is supporting Liverpool City Council in delivering this European funded project. In the first phase, digital care records are now being used by home care providers across the city using the PASS System. The second phase is the use of IoT technology across a LoRaWAN network. Safehouse sensors will be deployed in over 2,000 homes across the City over the next few months, and the Caring Cloud App will be used along with the sensors in a trial by Liverpool City Council.

The project is generating interest across Europe, Ann Williams, Liverpool City Council Adult Social Care, recently spoke about how the EU Funded project is changing Home Care services in Liverpool at the eHealth Conference in Tallinn, Estonia and the Active and Assisted Living (AAL) Forum.

  • Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) have been awarded Interreg Europe funding to support a pan-European programme called HELIUM.

HELIUM builds on successful LCR programmes undertaken to date, such as the Innovate Dementia programme, that used a “Living Lab” approach (bringing together (1) industry, (2) universities, (3) healthcare/public sector and (4) end users/patients/public) to successfully develop new products, including the House of Memories app and many other innovations.

The objectives of HELIUM are to:

  • build and evaluate a sustainable living lab infrastructure, a City Region living lab, determining standards and potential underpinning data models
  • share and use European good practices to inform local practice, and improve LCR policy/strategies (including ESIF and related) to increase the efficiency of resource use/commercialisation of innovation

HELIUM will be structured to reflect the different phases of the innovation process as they relate to living labs, with the following Task Forces established to gather and review evidence:

  • scout Innovation – identification of regional, best practice, and baseline measures (e.g. research to business collaborations, tech transfer, innovation vouchers etc)
  • stimulate Innovation – structure and processes to underpin living labs (e.g. standardisation of approach)
  • valorise Innovation – business plans to support technology implementation
  • uptake of Innovation – commissioning/procurement models, evaluation

Evidence is being gathered (predominantly by a LJMU researcher for LCR), shared across European partners, synthesized, with a view to improving regional policy and practice.

As a first step, the LEP has established a LCR Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG). The RSG’s role will determine local strategy, reviewing evidence gathered and offering advice on the synthesis and use of approaches locally. The RSG reflects Living lab participants:

  • Industry (technology/medical companies and financial)
  • Universities
  • Healthcare (providers/commissioners – NHS/Social care)/Wider public sector
  • End users/Patients/public

The RSG meets approximately four times each year and will report back to the LCR Health and Life Science Board. Initial tasks for the RSG include conducting Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the regional innovation ecosystem and ESIF strategy, and the identification of good practices.

A selection of research and learning from our programmes can be viewed here:

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