The Department of Health has launched a new, open, two-stage competition to designate Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) in England.
The role of the newly designated AHSCs will be to increase strategic alignment of NHS providers and their university partner, specifically in world-class research, health education and patient care, in order to improve health and healthcare delivery, including through increased translation of discoveries from basic science into benefits for patients. AHSCs will be able to realise their potential as drivers of economic growth through research partnerships with commercial life science organisations.
The characteristics of the AHSCs will include:
- strategic alignment of NHS provider and university objectives;
- the highest volume, critical mass and world-class excellence in basic medical research;
- the ability to translate findings from basic research into excellent translational, clinical and applied research across a range of interests;
- ability to translate scientific advances into patient benefit, in order to improve patient care and healthcare delivery;
- excellence in patient care;
- excellence in health education;
- strong partnership governance;
- strong clinical informatics platform to underpin the delivery of AHSC objectives;
- strong track record of, and capacity for, productive research collaborations with the life sciences industry and contribution to economic growth;
- strong patient and public involvement and engagement.
The AHSC designation will be for five years, commencing 1 April 2014.
The NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) is managing the call and designation process on behalf of the Department of Health.
The closing date for submission of the Pre-qualifying Questionnaire by NHS provider/ university partnerships in England that are interested in being considered for AHSC designation is 31 May 2013 at 1.00pm.
The guidance document is available here.
The AHSC Pre-qualifying Questionnaire Application Form will be available from Wednesday 17th April 2013.