National Physical Laboratory

NPL and airto – making innovation happen

In early 2011 NPL won a contract to run airto (the Association of Independent Research and Technology Organisations) till at least 2013.

Airto logo
NPL runs a number of knowledge networks for
government, commercial companies, and universities

airto is a members' association for organisations providing research and development, consultancy, validation, testing, incubation and financing, and has the vision to become the voice of the intermediate research sector, supporting innovation in the UK and influencing the innovation climate.

As at March 2011 airto represents around 40 members covering a wide range of organisations, from commercial, to government-owned and academia. NPL carries out the management and administration of the organisation on behalf of the airto board.

NPL has a market-leading position in the UK running knowledge networks for government, commercial customers and universities.

This experience includes setting up and running two large innovation networks for the Technology Strategy Board: the Sensors & Instrumentation Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), and the Location & Timing KTN. NPL's management of these two networks has generated over £100m of innovation funding for members and brought together 4,000 people.

NPL also worked with the University of Surrey to set up and run three technology platforms in Communications & Signal Processing, Nanotechnology & Photonics, and Next Generation Materials & Characterisation.

We also work with the UK government's National Measurement Office to run the UK's Measurement Network, bringing together 3,000 members in six special interest groups.

For more information please visit the airto website or contact

Find out more about NPL's Knowledge Services

Last Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Created: 5 Apr 2011


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