Nicola Blackwood

Nicola Blackwood

minister for innovation | member of the house of lords


A bit about


I am Minister for Innovation in the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the youngest member of the House of Lords. I am a former Oxford Member of Parliament and Chair of the Science & Technology Select Committee, rare disease patient and advocate, a (relatively) new wife and stepmum, and an old-time musician. Find out more. 



Latest Updates

I am responsible for health research, life sciences and NHS innovation, including genomics, AMR and rare diseases, medicines pricing and regulation; data, digital and technology, including cyber security; international health diplomacy and global health security.

I am also responsible for all Health and Social Care matters in the House of Lords. Read all about it below.






lifescienceS spotlight

Sector Deal

The two Life Sciences Sector Deals will help ensure new pioneering treatments and medical technologies are produced in the UK, improving patient lives and driving economic growth. The deals involve substantial investment from private and charitable sectors and significant commitments in research and development from the government. See full details here.



Following the great success of the 100,000 Genomes Project, we aim to sequence 5 million genomes in the UK over the next 5 years. It is crucial we translate this achievement into clinical care through research and the NHS Genomic Medicine Service.

The National Genomics Strategy will put patients at the heart of everything we do and set out how we can make the most of our world class assets to establish the UK squarely at the forefront of the genomics revolution.


Our vision is to make the UK home to data-driven research and innovation to improve patient outcomes.

The ยฃ37.5m Digital Innovation Hubs are an important step to improving access to high-quality, world-leading datasets. This will not only improve the prevention, detection and diagnosis of diseases like cancer, heart disease and asthma so patients can benefit from scientific breakthroughs much faster but also offer insights that can strengthen the UK healthcare system itself.


The Sector Deal announced ยฃ79 million to establish the worldโ€™s first cohort of up to 5 million healthy participants to support research, prevention and treatment - including earlier diagnostics - across major chronic diseases, including cancer, dementia, heart disease and mental health disorders.

This new patient cohort will allow us to apply and develop new technologies to identify these diseases much earlier โ€“ before symptoms are even present.



Early diagnosis of illness can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment and save lives. AI has proven potential to revolutionise the speed and accuracy of medical diagnosis.

This is why we announced ยฃ50m five centres dedicated to applying AI technologies to medical imaging; both by digitising images taken during scans and biopsies in order to identify early signs of disease and by developing entirely new products to help improve early diagnosis.

The potential for todayโ€™s health innovators to save lives, transform our healthcare systems and shape the very health of society is genuinely game-changing.
— Nicola, 2 May 2019