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Research Governance Documentation and Information Guide


The NHS Plan recognises the need for the NHS to develop as an organisation that has innovation at the heart of its business. It commits the NHS to ensuring that innovations are identified and developed in the interests of patients and society as a whole.

The Department of Health has published a ‘Framework and Guidance on the Management of Intellectual Property in the NHS'. This Framework and Guidance became operational along with Section 5 of the Health and Social Care Act on 9 September 2002. The Guidance extends the powers of the previous 1998 policy on exploiting intellectual property generated through research and development to include intellectual property generated by all NHS employees in the delivery of health care. This provides a significant step in developing the NHS as an innovative organisation.

Policy framework for the management of intellectual property within the NHS arising from research and development HSC 1998/106 (1998)

The framework was designed to help ensure that Intellectual Property derived from NHS R&D is owned and exploited in the best interests of the NHS and the country as a whole, by those best able to do so.

The NHS as an Innovative Organisation – A Framework and Guidance on the Management of Intellectual Property in the NHS (2002)
DH policy on exploiting intellectual property generated through R&D and delivery of health care.  Builds on and extends HSC 1998/106 (above)

Intellectual Property in Government Research Contracts.
The Patent Office (2001)

Guidelines for public sector purchasers of research and research providers (including NHS Trusts)

NHS Innovations Centre

The NHS National Innovation Centre (NIC) aims to speed up the development of pre-commercial technologies likely to benefit the NHS.  Its resources include free-to-use online tools to help

  • assess ideas with the Scorecard

  • find resources by the Navigator

  • source leads in the Prospect Zone

  • manage IP development in My Account

NHS Innovation Hubs
England has nine regional NHS Innovation Centres (hubs), aligned to Regional Development Agency and Strategic Health Authority boundaries. They can all be accessed via this site. They were established in 2004/05 to champion the cause of healthcare innovation and to identify, develop and commercialize innovations and Intellectual Property created by NHS staff.





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page last updated

November 13, 2008

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