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The Digital Innovation Hub operating model is being developed through the Design and Dialogue phase which will conclude with the launch of the Programme Prospectus in May 2019.  A number of design principles are currently being tested with stakeholders.  These principles will shape the evaluation criteria used to select between 3-5 Hubs from the call for proposals, which will be run following the prospectus launch.

  1. Be partnership-based – drawing together NHS and academia with industry engagement. They will form interdisciplinary teams of people with the skills, knowledge and expertise to get from data to insight.
  2. Provide Leadership – be led by a visionary team who are compelling and internationally credible in transforming how health data is being used to improve lives.
  3. Possess required capabilities and expertise across data engineering, data science and deep domain knowledge to interpret data, such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  4. Demonstrate distinctive local capabilities aligned to a priority within either the Life Sciences strategy or the NHS Long-Term Plan.
  5. Demonstrate utility by solving significant real-world research and industrial challenges directly and, through use of their expert services. They will do the data engineering and provide the health data science needed to draw rich domain insights from the data.
  6. Breathe the same air. Provide a physical location where staff from NHS, industry and academia can come together to learn and innovate with other users.

Initially funded through the UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) investment to kick-start the approach, these Hubs will be formal collaborations between NHS, academic organisations and industry and focused on meeting demonstrable industry needs. Each Hub will be set up to demonstrate and drive the utility of expert health data science, likely based on an area of expertise.  But this is not a research project – Hubs will be expected to provide services for research and innovation.

The data and research services need to be widely used to get to insights and innovations. Therefore, the Digital Innovation Hub model will be inclusive: the infrastructure layer and Alliance data will be made available to other health data users from the NHS, academia, charities and industry.  Digital Innovation Hubs will have a role in growing the market and be encouraged to increase the use of data and the number of data users.

Digital Innovation Hubs will subscribe to the Alliance’s Terms & Conditions on information governance, ethics, intellectual property rights and commercial models as a data controller, and to the set of services in the infrastructure layer.

Over time, the intention is to extend across UK to support complete population coverage of integrated health data and access to health data science.