It’s widely acknowledged that businesses in the Adult Health and Social Care sector have been some of the hardest hit following the challenges of the pandemic and Brexit. 

As such, West Sussex County Council has prioritised funding for small and medium-sized (no more than 249 employees) businesses to receive specific innovation support to recover and boost growth.

If you are …

  • a leader or senior manager in the Adult Health and Social Care sector with responsibility to drive innovation in the business
  • determined to recover and grow following the challenges of Brexit and the pandemic
  • looking to create a new, or adapt an existing, service, product or business model
  • a small or medium-sized business or Social Enterprise including Community Interest Company or Charity with a trading arm, based in West Sussex

then this completely free programme could be for you!

Developed in partnership with West Sussex health care groups and Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), this new programme has been designed to provide you with sector specific insights and innovate tools to help you turn challenges into market advantages.  

Our Horizons programme is a series of inspiring, thematic and sector specific workshops, created to share cutting-edge research and insights to help develop innovative approaches that will enable you to build resilience to national and global challenges within your business

Through a series of masterclasses and workshops, online and in-person sessions, we will share the latest insights and expert knowledge from university academia and industry partners on cutting-edge med-tech solutions to support the challenges facing providers and suppliers in the sector.

The Programme – Starting Autumn 2022

The programme kicked off on Thursday 29 September 2022, 12.30 – 2.00pm, Online (Zoom) with an online launch event.

The programme will be delivered through a mix of FREE to attend, online and in person masterclasses and workshops in the following areas:

  • Overcoming inequalities in Health/Social Care 
  • Maintaining Healthy Ageing: being active and being healthy at work 
  • Enabling social connectedness for ageing population and adults with additional needs 
  • Preventing social isolation and digital exclusion
  • Designing for better independent living – Smart homes and Internet of Caring Things
  • Management of long term health conditions: obesity, heart conditions, cancer, dementia 
  • Utilising AI and automated data analysis in health and social care
  • Net Zero and decarbonising services
  • Using Universities to test and commercialise new ideas – accessing expertise and funding

Register your interest in this FREE programme

Creative strategies for inclusive communication – understanding your clients needs better

18th November – 1.30pm-3.30pm

Venue: Worthing

Delivered by:

Nicola Yuill Profile | University of Sussex, Jayne Lloyd — The University of Brighton and Joanna Offer — The University of Brighton

This workshop will introduce you to the effective use of participatory consultation methods when supporting clients who may have limited or no spoken language.  It will also explore creative approaches to communication that can be applied to your work and/or organisation.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for small businesses and organisations

7th December – 10.00am-12.00pm


Delivered by:

Paul Levy

In this short but practical and interactive conversation, full of real examples and stories, we will explore what AI is and how some of its tools are ready for use now in our businesses and organisations.

From chatbots to sentiment analysis, from augmented reality to metaverses, you will hear real stories from how businesses in the UK and beyond are taking the first steps in artificial intelligence to enhance and innovate their product and service offerings.

Understanding inequalities in healthcare and the hidden populations

8th December – 9.30am-11.30am


Delivered by:

Shanu Sadhwani — The University of Brighton

This workshop explores the stark inequalities which exisit in the health service and how unconscious patterns which drive human behaviour affect health outcomes. It will look at recent research on how a range of social factors affect adult health behaviours, and how biases we all hold, including those of healthcare professionals can impact on health outcomes.

Meaningful encounters with technology in the home

16th December – 10.00am-12.00pm


Delivered by:

Ralitsa Hiteva Profile | University of Sussex and David Harley — The University of Brighton

This workshop explores how we live with technology in the home, particularly in relation to assisted technologies. Using findings and recommendations from a recent project which monitored older peoples use in sheltered accommodation, the session will further explore the wider issue about the success of technology being dependant on human and social elements.

Equality, diversity and inclusivity

19th January 2023 – 10.00am-12.00pm (lunch 12-1.00pm)

Venue: Aldingbourne, nr Chichester

Delivered by: 

Diversity and Ability 

This masterclass will explore the business and organisational benefits to understanding and appealing to a truly diverse audience in terms of your clients, customers, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders.

Looking at this both from within an organisation and the people you recruit and work with, and the many other business relationships you have, this masterclass will support you in understanding the links between diversity and inclusion, innovation and growth

Becoming a more sustainable organisation

19th January 2023 – 1.00pm-4.00pm

Venue: Aldingbourne, near Chichester

Delivered by:

Dr Ryan Woodard

This masterclass will unpack the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and consider how these can improve your business or organisational operations, efficiency and enhance your brand. It will also explore the challenges and practical actions you can take towards embedding sustainability in your organisation, including managing waste and resources.

Open innovation through co-creation in healthcare

26th January 2023 – 10.00am-12.00am


Delivered by:

Dr Theo Fotis — The University of Brighton and Dr Tom Grice-Jackson – BSMS

This workshop explores how communities and businesses collaborate in the co-creation and co-production of healthcare products and services. Using examples from recent and current research projects the session will explore how health innovation can be driven by, in and for the communities they serve.

Action Learning Sets

The programme will also include two Action Learning Sets to support participants with the challenges and ideas arising from the sessions.

Set 1 – 30th November – 10am-12.00pm

Set 2- 30th January 2023 – 10am-12.00pm

Action learning is a specific process where individuals get together with a facilitator to share business and organisational challenges and get the benefit of pooled advice and expertise from peers.

To get the maximum value from this unique opportunity businesses will need to undertake a minimum of 12 hours of support – this could be made up of masterclasses, workshops, action learning and 1-2-1 support from our Innovation Advisorss

Access up to £12,000 to support your project development

The programme culminates with an opportunity to further explore new business ideas and opportunities through a research and development project, working with subject experts from the university of Brighton or Sussex, to the value of up to £12,000, at no cost to the business.

Through our funding we can directly pay for the time of our top academics in the areas of expertise you need to work directly on your projects. It’s a simply process that includes our Innovation Advisors working with you to scope your project and map the skills and expertise needed -with the unique opportunity of having access to two pools university experts to choose from.

Please note: The Access to Expertise part of this programme is only available for eligible SMEs based in West Sussex.  All projects will need to be completed by 31 March 2023.

If you would like to know more about Horizons or if you have any questions about the RISE project, you can get in touch with the team at

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Programme Date:

Sep 01, 2022

Jan 31, 2023

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