Liverpool City Region businesses could benefit from a £3.5million project aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses develop innovative products and services for the health and care sector. Businesses will be able to gain access to a raft of support from the project called Health Enterprise Hub – Innovation Exchange, which is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project, which will run for three years, builds on collaborations that have been established across business, university and NHS communities, bringing together key stakeholders in the life science sector. As part of the Liverpool City Regions’ Local Growth Hub (localgrowthhub.com), SMEs will be able to access healthcare professionals, universities and other relevant businesses to help them throughout their innovation processes, connecting them to relevant expertise and assisting them in taking their innovation and services from concept to market. Dr Andrew Rose Sector Manager, Health and Life Science for Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “Liverpool City Region is particularly strong in Health & Life Science and we are positioning ourselves as the best place in the UK for healthcare innovation. To ensure we capitalise on this we need to provide support, guidance, opportunity and time for businesses to develop in this growing sector. The Innovation Exchange Programme will, though our Local Growth Hub, offer companies and entrepreneurs the sector-specific support they need.” Events (including hackathons), meetings and focus groups will also take place to bring the needs of health and social care professionals and patients, carers and members of the public together with SMEs to develop solutions and scale-up existing solutions to healthcare. NHS Liverpool CCG Senior Manager for Digital Care and Innovation Dave Horsfield, said: “It is fantastic to have both the city region NHS and universities partnering with industry. It means that our local health services and practitioners will be co-creating innovative products and services – which ultimately benefits both businesses and citizens. “Opening doors for local businesses will bring huge benefits to our health and care sector which has a rich tradition of innovation.” Businesses can access the Local Growth Hub at localgrowthhub.com or on Twitter @localgrowthhub and LinkedIn Local Growth Hub. Health Enterprise Hub – Innovation Exchange partners involved are: Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, the Innovation Agency, Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool John Moores University, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Aimes Grid Services.