AIRTO announces Simon Andrews as Chair Elect

AIRTO – the Association of Innovation, Research & Technology Organisations – is delighted to announce Simon Andrews as Chair Elect of AIRTO, succeeding Andrew Jamieson as Chair upon his retirement from AIRTO, on 5 July 2024.

Simon Andrews

Simon is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Physicist, and Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He has held a variety of roles in industry from design, development and production engineering through to operations and engineering management. He is the Executive Director of Fraunhofer UK Research. Simon is also a non-executive director of Glasgow Science Centre, Technology Scotland Ltd and Photonics Leadership Group Ltd.

Commenting on his appointment Simon said,
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute more to AIRTO and I thank Andrew for his successful tenure.  I am excited to be working with Sudhesh, Jane and the board. There are amazing capabilities across our member RTOs and we need to ensure that they are all well supported to deliver the useful  innovations that our society needs.“

AIRTO’s Chair, Andrew Jamieson (CEO of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult), commented,
“In my time with AIRTO I have become more convinced than ever that the UK has a latent potential in applied research organisations that can be utilised more readily to grow our overall economy to the benefit of both industry and society at large. I am delighted that Simon is becoming our new Chair, I know he has the vision to move AIRTO’s membership forwards.”.

AIRTO’s President, Professor Sudhesh Kumar OBE said,
“I would like to thank Andrew for Chairing the Board of AIRTO successfully including difficult circumstances such as during the pandemic. Simon Andrews has a deep knowledge and understanding of the RTO sector and is ideally placed to ensure that the Board serves the interests of the membership. I am delighted he has been appointed the new chair of the AIRTO Board and I look forward to working with him.”

Dr Jane Gate, AIRTO’s Executive Director, said,
“We are tremendously fortunate to have benefited from Andrew’s strategic leadership as our Chair. I am grateful for his fantastic commitment to AIRTO and our sector. I am delighted that he will be succeeded by Simon Andrews and look forward to working closely with him to fly the flag for research and innovation.”


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.

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