The Programme

The Innovation Champion Network (ICN), delivered in partnership with Medipex Ltd, is a growing cohort of NHS employees throughout Yorkshire and Humber who act as innovation ambassadors within their host organisations.

Their role is to support innovative activities within their own organisations; empower and encourage colleagues to come forward with new innovative ideas, inventions and share learning to promote the spread and adoption of best practice and technologies across the network and region.


Thousands of novel, good ideas are generated by NHS employees every year, which have the potential to improve patient care and/or run services more efficiently. These innovations in services, products and systems have the potential to result in cost savings and/or revenue generation – beneficial at a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented financial and operational pressures. These ideas need to be carefully managed to reduce independent duplication of effort, and to receive the appropriate guidance along the development pathway, which often requires outside help.  The ICN responds to the ambition within the Five Year Forward View to support a modern workforce with the right skills, values and behaviours to deliver new models of working by enabling the Innovation Champions to:

  • Promote the importance and benefits of protecting/developing innovative new ideas created by staff;
  • Work with senior management, the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and Medipex to develop strategies to stimulate a culture of innovation;
  • Act as a focal point of contact within their NHS organisations for colleagues to present new ideas and benefit from early evaluation.

How are we helping?

Through the Innovation Champion Network programme, we are:

  • Providing foundation training in Intellectual Property (IP) and the essentials of effective innovation management to empower Innovation Champions to speak with confidence on IP matters;
  • Delivering a range of workshops and networking events to develop understanding and skills for the innovation journey – including identifying unmet needs, generating ideas and scoping solutions, creating a robust business case, engaging partners and evaluating the opportunity;
  • Supporting the Innovation Champions to develop a receptive culture of innovation within their NHS organisations for ideas developed from within the NHS or by industry;
  • Providing a platform for shared thinking and best practice across Yorkshire and Humber through our dedicated Innovation Champions Network website;
  • Helping to identify a pipeline of innovative products and services in response to health and social care needs;
  • Hosting a showcase event to reward and recognise our regional NHS innovators;
  • Developing self-sustainability for the ICN and the infrastructure for collaboration across Yorkshire & Humber and other regions across England and partnerships within the AHSN network.

Our Impact to Date

Through the growing cohort of NHS staff from over 24 organisations, the Innovation Champion Network is accelerating and establishing a process for disclosure and protection of new innovations created by healthcare professionals – creating potential new revenue streams and reducing the loss of Intellectual Property.

These innovations are supported through Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and Medipex programmes of activity to ensure they are adopted by organisations and lead to improvements in patient outcomes.

The Innovation Champions Network is also working with the commercial sector and patient groups to explore methods of effective co-design through initiatives such as the Yorkshire & Humber Digital Health Design Challenge.

Next Steps

To find out more about the Innovation Champion Network visit

ICN video pic