Following the launch of a Department of Health open competition to designate Academic Health Science Centres, Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre submitted stage one of its application to be re-designated with AHSC status on, 31 May 2013.

Imperial College AHSC was established between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in 2007, the first AHSC to be formed in the UK.

Designation will be for five years from 1 April 2014. The role of the AHSCs will be to increase strategic alignment of NHS providers and their university partners, specifically in world-class research, health education and patient care, and to improve health and healthcare delivery through increased translation of discoveries from basic science into benefits for patients. Through this, AHSCs will be able to realise their potential as drivers of economic growth through research partnerships with commercial life science organisations.

The selection process continues throughout 2013 with the submission of a full application, reviews by a designation panel and interviews. Criteria will be based on the demonstration of:

  • volume, critical mass and world-class excellence in basic medical research, and the ability to translate findings from basic research into excellent translational, clinical and applied research across a range of interests
  • excellence in patient care
  • excellence in health education
  • strength of the strategy for the proposed AHSC
  • strength and appropriateness of governance arrangements

Imperial College AHSC is currently developing its strategy and five year plan for the second phase of the application process.