EPSRC Northern Health Futures Hub

The NortHFutures Hub is envisioned as a world-leading innovation ecosystem that will facilitate the research, development, and acceleration of responsibly designed, human-centred, and data-rich health-tech to cultivate an entrepreneurial and vibrant community that addresses regional healthcare needs and promotes leadership in Digital Health.

NortHFutures involves six regional universities:

Seven regional National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trusts:

  • County Durham and Darlington
  • Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals
  • Northumbria Healthcare
  • North Tees and Hartlepool
  • South Tyneside and Sunderland
  • South Tees Hospitals

And over 50+ partners, including regional, national, and global companies; health and care providers; local authorities; innovation accelerators; plus voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector organisations and advocacy groups.

The NortHFutures network is open to all. To get involved and keep updated about engagement activities: Join the mailing list →.

Digital Health Innovation Ecosystem

Overview of NortHFutures Hub by the Directors and Programme Manager

Across the North East and North Cumbria

The NortHFutures consortium has a shared agenda to address unmet health needs, inequalities, and digital exclusion in the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) region where there is proportionately high deprivation, child poverty, mental health challenges and a high percentage of people in the population living with multiple long-term conditions.

Map of the region. Photo by Boris YUE on Unsplash

Hub Activities

The NortHFutures consortium aims to humanise health-tech through equity, participation, and investment in people.

  • Establish the hub as a world-leading research centre that is people-powered and provides opportunities for all to engage in digital health and health-tech initiatives;
  • Enhance digital skills training provision for stakeholders in multiple sectors: Health and Care; Industry; Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise; Local Government; Academia; and in diverse learning and training environments across the region;
  • Collaboratively create a supportive community of people and organisations working across health and care and in digital technology innovation;
  • Fund scoping research in the field of Digital Health that addresses regional unmet health and care needs, health inequalities, and digital exclusion;
  • Create opportunities for engagement, networking and entrepreneurship.

We will:

  • Deliver and evaluate digital skills training and development initiatives;
  • Develop new community services and technical infrastructure for collaborative data work and for connecting people working in Digital Health in our region and beyond;
  • Commission and evaluate scoping research studies that support new collaborations;
  • Hold networking events and provide access to resources supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, and routes to commercialisation.

Through our joined-up approach, we unite to build ways for populations of all ages to thrive and invest in their possible futures.

Please download this PDF summary to find out more about the hub activities.

Hub Research Themes

The hub activities are mobilised around four themes that are grounded in evidenced need voiced by our stakeholders:

  • Promoting Health & Nutrition for Children & Young People;
  • Developing Digital Surgical Pathways;
  • Supporting Mental Health & Wellbeing;
  • Living & Ageing Well with Multiple Long-term Conditions.

Join the NortHFutures Network

We start work on 1st November 2023 for a 3-Year Pilot Phase. Please join the network, which is open to all, to be kept updated about upcoming events:



NortHFutures Co-Directors are Prof. Abigail Durrant at Open Lab, Newcastle University, and Prof. Naeem Soomro, Consultant Urologist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The directors are supported by a wider leadership team with representation from across the partnership and hub consortium.


If you have any queries about the hub and how to get involved, please contact:

NortHFutures Hub Manager Jen Wood: Jennifer.Wood@newcastle.ac.uk.