Welcome to Sudhesh Kumar OBE, AIRTO’s President Elect!

AIRTO – the Association of Innovation, Research & Technology Organisations – is delighted to welcome Professor Sudhesh Kumar OBE who has joined AIRTO as President Elect, and will be succeeding Steve Yianni FREng as President upon his retirement in 2024

Professor Sudhesh Kumar OBE

Professor Sudhesh Kumar is Vice President (Health) at the University of Warwick, responsible for expanding the organisation’s existing innovation in health and medical science research and education, including major initiatives within the university’s current and future Innovation Campuses. Sudhesh is a clinical endocrinologist by background and has contributed much to advancing his field both as a clinician and as a researcher, and previously served as Dean of Medicine at Warwick Medical School. Sudhesh has also served as a Non-Executive Director of University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire’s NHS Trust Board and of NHS Digital, where he was Vice Chair of the Board. In 2019, he was awarded an OBE for services to medicine.

Sudhesh will build on the strong foundations laid by AIRTO in recent years to champion the UK’s Innovation, Research & Technology (IRT) sector and will play a key role, working alongside our Board and Executive Team, to build influence with policy makers for UK science and innovation and to articulate the critical role of IRT sector assets in strategies for economic growth.

Commenting on his appointment Sudhesh said,
“I look forward to working on behalf of AIRTO’s member organisations to ‘fly the flag’ for the critical work that they do in tackling some of society’s most pressing challenges – such as Net Zero, sustainable food production and delivering quality healthcare for an ageing population. There is an exciting opportunity to drive economic growth and prosperity for the UK through innovation, building on some great work AIRTO has already been doing.”

AIRTO’s Chair, Andrew Jamieson (CEO of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult), commented,
“For many years AIRTO has, through the role of the President, been a strong influence with government and other stakeholders at the highest levels towards the betterment of innovation and applied research. On behalf of the Board of AIRTO, I am delighted to be welcoming Sudhesh to this role, and I know he will be a great asset to our members in championing innovation in the UK”.

AIRTO’s outgoing President, Steve Yianni FREng said,
“I am extremely pleased that Sudhesh is taking on the AIRTO President role, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition is achieved. This is such an exciting time of opportunity to recognise and advance the role of R&D and innovation as a key driver of the UK’s economic growth strategy.”


AIRTO is the Association of Innovation, Research and Technology Organisations. Its membership comprises approximately sixty of the principal organisations operating in the UK’s extensive Innovation, Research and Technology (IRT) sector. The IRT sector has a combined turnover of £6.9Bn, employing over 57,000 scientific and technical staff and contributes an estimated £34Bn to UK GDP.

Organisations in this critical sector work with industry, government and academia to promote and implement innovation, and provide technical solutions to challenges and crises for both private and public sector clients in the UK and overseas. Our members cover a very wide range of industries from, for example, agriculture and food, pharma and bio, energy generation and distribution, to manufacturing and the built environment. AIRTO’s members include Independent Research and Technology Organisations, Catapult Centres, Public Research Establishments, National Laboratories, and privately held innovation organisations.

For further information please contact enquiries@airto.co.uk