The next NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) recruitment call opens on 1 September 2022. Please check back regularly and follow @NHSAccelerator on Twitter for updates.
Who can apply for the NIA?
The NIA is open to applicants from any background, including SMEs, clinical entrepreneurs and academia, with innovations of any type that solve a problem for the NHS.
To be successful, your innovation should be:
- In use in at lease one site, in the NHS or elsewhere
- Supported by an evidence base and able to demonstrate better patient and/or staff outcomes
- Ready to spread across the NHS
- Led by an applicant who is open to learning and sharing insights
- Aligned with one of this year’s call themes
For the 2023 intake, the NIA is seeking innovations that align with the NHS Core20Plus5 manifesto while addressing our key theme areas of elective recovery and operational challenges post-pandemic.
Therapy areas of interest are:
- Mental health and severe mental illness
- Respiratory disease
- Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
Additionally, the NIA is looking for innovations that address urgent and emergency care.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate how their innovation actively alleviates health inequalities in practice.
Interested in learning more?
We will be hosting several informational webinars during the recruitment period. Check back for dates and details.
When considering your application for the NIA, the following documents from our previous recruitment call may be useful.
- Call for applications: provides an overview of the NIA, who can apply, the assessment criteria for innovations, and the application and assessment process.
- Guide for applicants: provides detailed guidance on how to complete each section of the application, as well as instructions for using the application portal.
For general questions, please refer to the FAQs.
Application screening and assessment
When the NIA call opens, applicants are asked to submit an application form detailing information about themselves and their skills; experience and competencies to spread an innovation; as well as their innovation, the problem it addresses, the evidence as to its effectiveness and their strategy for scaling in the NHS.
Application forms are shortlisted by a minimum of five assessors drawn from a range of perspectives including clinical, patient, commercial and implementation. Applications are assessed on the basis of the applicant, the innovation, and confirmation that there is no straightforward or obvious local mechanism for scaling; in other words, there needs to be a clear reason as to why the applicant needs the support of the NIA.
Those put forward at this stage are informally reviewed by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Shortlisted applicants are invited to a panel interview, which is comprised of a range of expertise, including clinical, commercial and patient.
After the interviews, a final decision panel chaired by Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Chair of the NIA Programme Board, reviews the recommendations from the assessment process (application, NICE review and interview) to agree which applicants will be offered a conditional place on the NIA.
Successful applicants are offered a conditional place on the NIA subject to a due diligence process.
Two references are requested for each potential Fellow – one of whom needs to be a senior representative from the Fellow’s employing organisation; the other should be from a healthcare provider/ commissioner site where your innovation is currently in use (this does not need to be an NHS site). Additionally at this stage, the NIA requests – where relevant – two years of annual accounts, a list of company directors and published annual reports.