SME Innovation Fund - Applications now open

Posted on 25 August 2020 (Permalink)

Are you a start-up or a small to medium sized enterprise working in the space of delivering improved healthcare? Do you have the potential to change how healthcare is delivered? The SME Innovation Fund can provide the support you need to help your business grow. 

What is the SME Innovation Fund?

Mercia Asset Management (MAM), a leading investment business is collaborating with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) to help build and support healthcare businesses across the West Midlands.

The SME Innovation Fund will provide investment and provide excellent links to the NHS, investment community and academic networks. In doing so the fund will support innovations that have the potential to deliver a high impact for society, grow the reputation of the West Midlands health services and lead the adoption of new innovations in the NHS. 

Mercia has a strong track record of financially supporting and building life science businesses across the UK, all of which provide a scalable and innovative way of streamlining services, improving patient safety and releasing the burden of cost on the NHS. The fund will be led by Peter Dines, Chief Operating Officer at Mercia.  

What will I receive if I am successful? 

Successful applicants will get:

  • Convertible loans from £25,000- £100,000
  • Unparalleled access to future investment capital
  • Regular mentor workshops from industry experts including experienced life sciences entrepreneurs.
  • Key contacts in the NHS and healthcare sectors

What are the requirements?

We are looking for innovations that align to the following WMAHSN strategic priorities:

  • Mental Health Resilience - Improving health outcomes, access and diagnosis for patients and population of the WM through supporting the system to implement and evaluate integrated pathways and new models of care, new technologies and methodologies
  • Medicines Optimisation and Management: Support organisations and individuals with the infrastructure and capability to improve unnecessary prescribing, reduce prescribing errors and support the interface between secondary and primary care – improving quality, patient safety, and experience, whilst reducing costs.
  • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Management: Support organisations and STPs / ICS’s to implement new models of preventative care in CVD, improving quality and reducing costs.
  • Patient Safety and Improvement: Support the improvement of patient safety across the WM geography with a focus of care homes, deteriorating patient and transformation of maternity and neonates.
  • Driving Digital TransformationSupport the WM to develop digitally supported solutions for effective, efficient, and safe healthcare

We are particularly interested in those innovations that support the health and care system respond and recover from COVID-19 to uptake various innovations, aligning where possible to existing or planned pathway transformation.

The fund has supported 12 companies to grow to date and we now have funds available to invest into a new venture.  Examples of the success stories can be found in our annual report.

To apply please click add application below or contact us directly as we are here to help with your application and welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your requirements. Please contact Tammy Holmes for further information. 

How do I submit?

To submit an application you will need to register, this will only take a couple of minutes.  Once signed in simply click on 'Innovation' below and complete the online template.  Please note this button is only visible to members of the platform so you will need to register to be able to submit.  This is free to everyone and only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Once completed click on 'Publish' and this will be submitted to our review team.  All submissions will be reviewed by our Meridian team before they are visible on the platform and we will contact you if you require any further information.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at

What do I do if I can't click 'publish'?

If the publish button is unavailable then there may be some required fields that have been left incomplete.  Once these have been completed you should be able to submit your innovation for review by our team.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at

Already engaged with the AHSN Network of The AHSN Network Innovation Exchange? 

As a network we endeavour to provide innovators with a commonality of service across our Innovation Exchanges, this includes the use of a single industry engagement form which we use as part of the Meridian process.  If you have already completed this and submitted it to another AHSN or via our AHSN Network Innovation Exchange then please email this to our Industry Gateway who will be happy to support you to engage with the WMAHSN.