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Supporting companies to accelerate proven innovations into the international market.

Posted: 18th June 2021

The international market is becoming more important than ever for UK Health tech businesses and having an NHS customer in place really helps. This is one of several key points made at the recent ‘Get Export Ready’ event on 10th June.

The event, which was led by Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, Eastern AHSN and UCL Partners, which saw 60 delegates attend, provided an opportunity for SMEs to receive advice and guidance on how they can successfully break into global health tech markets.

The event featured key speakers from SMEs who discussed their successful journey’s into the international market and highlighted some of lessons they picked up along the way. Delegates also heard from experts from the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), Healthcare UK, part of the Department of International Trade (DIT) and the AHSN Network, who explained the help available to companies. Delegates then had the opportunity to ask questions in breakout sessions.

Key messages from the speakers included:

  • There is a wealth of support and advice out there for you to use: foreign embassies, Healthcare UK, AHSN Network, ABHI.
  • Be clear on who you want to work with and align the solution to the needs of the country you are wanting to export to
  • A lot of what is important in the UK is important in other countries – placed based care and emphasis on prevention are two examples.

If you’re already working with the NHS, then you are already at an advantage. Dr Neville Young, Director of Innovation and Enterprise at Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, said: “Part of the AHSN Network’s role is advising SMEs with proven innovations on how they can spread their product not just across the UK, but also internationally.

“The NHS is a valuable but tough market to break into – but this is where the AHSN Network can help with advice and support and I’m delighted to have been able to be part of this event to help give businesses an international platform for their innovations.”

Support from the AHSN Network

As a Network, the AHSN is a member of ABHI’s UK Healthcare Pavilion: a platform that showcases the very best of UK healthcare and life sciences.  This means we can help highlight products ready for the international market. We can also help companies receive the correct advice and guidance and facilitate early conversations.

By partnering with organisations such as the ABHI, we have provided companies the opportunity to exhibit products and services at leading health technology fairs such as Arab Health and Medica.

The AHSN Network also supports programmes like the ABHI’s US Accelerator Programme and Innovation Hub in Texas and we have built many strong partnerships with international bodies to support inward investment and export growth opportunities.

We also have a pipeline of innovations for every stage of development and can help identify ‘export ready’ products.

Key speaker and CEO of ORCHA, Liz Ashall-Payne, took delegates through ORCHA’s journey and said:

“It can feel a little bit overwhelming [….] but there is some amazing support available [… ] freely available and it is so valuable. The AHSNs have supported us right from day one to really establish ourselves within this country and then support that as a launch pad into other countries.”

Hassan Choudhury, Digital Health Specialist, Healthcare UK said:

“We’re looking for proven technologies; those who are part of the UK DNA, part of the UK story and to me, any organisation that comes from the AHSN Network or the ABHI is already trusted.”

Stuart Thomson, Managing Director at Medovate said:

“The AHSNs were really helpful and instrumental in our product development pathway. The AHSNs offer innovation accelerator programmes and navigator programmes. For us, the real benefit was being able to sit down with clinical leaders and when we wanted to find independent clinicians to test our products and understand if they were working in the right way, the AHSNs facilitated those contacts so that we could engage with those clinicians.”

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is keen to explore further export events in the future covering commercialisation, market strategy and practical considerations for expanding internationally.

If you would like to learn more about how the AHSN can help you expand into the international market, please contact us.

If you missed the webinar you can now watch the recording of it.

The presentations from the event can be viewed here.