Innovators invited to apply for HealthTech digital accelerator programme.

Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network’s (AHSN) digital health accelerator, Propel@YH, is back for its fifth year and is looking to support innovations that help the NHS whilst boosting the region’s economy.

Propel@YH provides HealthTech innovators with a structured course of advice and guidance to help them navigate the NHS, whilst enabling accelerated company growth and increased market presence.

This year, the programme is looking for innovations in the following areas:
• Workforce
• Waiting lists
• Mental health
• Early diagnostics
• Urgent and emergency care (UEC)
• Supporting the Office for Life Sciences healthcare priorities (dementia, early diagnosis of cancer, prevention of CVD, respiratory, ageing and mental health).
• Patient empowerment
• Innovative ways of using AI technology.

Successful organisations will take part in a series of masterclasses, digital innovator surgeries, events and 1-2-1 mentoring sessions during the six months of the programme. Innovators will also have access to Propel@YH partners who bring specific expertise to the programme, including:

• Hill Dickinson (legal advice)
• Nexus, University of Leeds, (networking opportunities)
• Barclays Eagle Labs (growth support)
• Leeds City Council (networking contacts across the city).
• Leeds Teaching Hospitals Innovation Pop Up will provide NHS insight and strategy, amongst other support.

Since the programme started, 40 innovators have been through the programme with 11 SMEs establishing a base in the region. Digital health and AI business, Mediwise, based in Leeds, has recently secured £1M investment since being on the programme in 2022 and now plans to expand its operations in Yorkshire. Previous Propeller Maddie Julian, CEO of Digibete, developed an award-winning digital platform to help support self-management of type 1 diabetes. Since being on the Propel@YH programme in 2019, Digibete has secured a range of new research collaborations and has directly attributed one of these to the programme. Now, Digibete is planning to expand internationally.

Maddie Julian, Chief Executive of Digibete said:

“The Propel@YH programme has been a timely and incredibly helpful resource for our company. Partnering with Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has been a game-changer for us. They’ve provided quick access to valuable support and connections – a bit like a dating agency – matching us with the right expertise and support we need. Their strong network and connections enable companies like ours to benefit greatly from their support. I would highly recommend other companies to explore this opportunity and tap into the expertise that AHSN has to offer.”

Dr Neville Young, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said:

“We’re excited to launch this programme for a fifth year. Since the start of the programme, we’ve seen some incredible innovations that have supported the NHS including a multi-award-winning digital platform designed to improve the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes and an online therapy service that provides its users with remote step-by-step progressive rehabilitation. Over the last year, the programme has supported 44 innovators, facilitating 36 hours of networking time between innovator companies and national or local NHS stakeholders and this has resulted in 32 collaborations with the NHS.

“The Propel@YH programme is a great opportunity for SMEs to receive expert advice and guidance from the AHSN and our key partners, so they can navigate the NHS market, increase their presence in the region and spread their innovations for the benefit of those living and working in Yorkshire and the Humber.

“The programme also enables companies to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders from the wider HealthTech ecosystem across the UK and facilitates networking with other innovators and our colleagues from across the life sciences sector.”

Pad Burns, Healthcare Growth Director at 6B said:

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, supporting the next cohort of the Propel@YH programme. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the engagement over the past 18 months, supporting innovators around the complex topic of ensuring their products are interoperable with NHS systems. We’re looking forward to meeting this year’s cohort and learning about the new innovations coming to market.”

Judith Doherty, Account Director at CDS, said:

“We are delighted that CDS is now a Propel@YH partner. This incredible opportunity aligns with our commitment to innovation and collaboration in the digital health space. We place the utmost importance on human-centred design thinking and inclusivity in building new products or services. We firmly believe that by placing the needs and experiences of users at the forefront of the process, we can create solutions that genuinely impact people’s lives. With this mindset, we are excited to bring our expertise and passion for user-centricity to the Propel partnership.

We look forward to being part of Propel@YH’s journey by promoting inclusive design to reduce health inequalities and empower individuals from all walks of life.”

Innovators can apply for the programme on the Propel@YH website:

Deadline for applications is 6pm, Friday 25 August.


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