Recognising people who have made an exceptional contribution to the UK’s innovation, research and technology sector.


The AIRTO Board has decided to publicly acknowledge commitment and long-service to our community in four categories:

  • Best practice in innovation
    For exceptional commitment and long-service to AIRTO in promoting best practice through our Interest Groups.
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
    For exceptional work in advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion in the Innovation, Research & Technology sector.
  • Unsung hero
    For dedicated commitment in working behind the scenes, to further AIRTO’s mission to foster collaboration between members.
  • Innovation sector champion
    For exceptional commitment and long-service to our community in helping to promote dialogue on innovation policy.

2018 award winners

Best practice in innovation
This award went to Lisa Rowles of HORIBA MIRA for her exceptional commitment and long-service to AIRTO in promoting best practice through leading our Human Resources Interest Group.

Lisa, who is Human Resources Director for HORIBA MIRA, has been the Chair of AIRTO’s Human Resources Interest Group for more than a decade, and has worked very hard in that time to help member organisations share best practice. Commenting on her award, Lisa said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to accept this award which reflects the hard work of the group and our members commitment to the skilled people we employ, and to making our organisations the very best places to work’.

Equality, diversity and inclusion
The award for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion went to Public Health England for their exceptional work in advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion in the IRT sector through Project SEARCH, a scheme to help young people with learning difficulties and autism gain meaningful employment. Paul Laidler and Gwyn Morris accepted the award on behalf of Public Health England.

Unsung hero
The award for our Unsung Hero recognised dedicated commitment in working behind the scenes to further AIRTO’s mission to foster collaboration between members. This was an opportunity to acknowledge the work put in over the past 5 years to the smooth running of our Health & Safety Interest Group by Sue Rogers of BRE Group.

Innovation sector champion
This award recognised exceptional commitment and long-service to our community in helping to promote dialogue on innovation policy. This was an opportunity for AIRTO to show appreciation for all the work put in over many years, especially through the Public Sector & EU Interest Group, by Peter Oakley of TWI Ltd.