KCL graduate with 30 years’ experience in private and public sectors supporting innovation appointed chair for the Health Innovation Network.

KCL graduate with 30 years’ experience in private and public sectors supporting innovation appointed chair for the Health Innovation Network.

Posted on December 10

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Hitesh Thakrar has a wide knowledge of the life sciences, information technology and innovation sectors and considerable experience serving on several Boards. This includes the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI and KQ Labs which is an Accelerator set up by the Francis Crick Institute to support next generation businesses in data science and life sciences.

He is also a partner at Syncona, a Wellcome Trust backed early stage venture fund and the Chair of the Investment Committee for Newable Ventures (a pre-Series A deep tech fund) and an Advisory Committee Member for UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund which supports nine publicly funded research bodies, including the Science and Technology Facilities Council, a part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Most recently he has become a member of the Board of Trustees for Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Charity, his local hospital.

Hitesh started his career in the public sector working with local authorities, before moving into the City as an investment manager specialising in technology, life science and innovation companies in the public markets, and more recently in venture capital private markets with a focus on building UK based innovation led start-ups.

Throughout these experiences, he has developed a passion for supporting innovation and an ability to understand the factors behind why some new technologies would succeed quickly, some would take time, and some would not succeed at all.

“It’s clear to me that there is a convergence happening between life sciences and technology. This is going to accelerate in the next 20 years and the HIN is a pivotal place to bring these together.”Hitesh Thakrar

He said: “I’ve seen how AI and x-rays can be used to predict arthritis, how data and AI can improve biopsies for prostate cancer and am really interested in the ethics and governance around it.

“It’s clear to me that there is a convergence happening between life sciences and technology. This is going to accelerate in the next 20 years and the HIN is a pivotal place to bring these together.

“I’m keen to bring my experience in the public and private sectors to the HIN to find innovations that make a difference for patients, public and health professionals in south London.”

He was appointed following an open process that included HIN Board members from south west London and south east London.

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, HIN Chief Executive said: “Hitesh’s drive and passion for innovation make him a great fit for the HIN. I’m looking forward to working with him to accelerate innovation in south London.”

Hitesh has been appointed for a term of four years and will replace Professor Richard Barker, whose term as chair ends on December 31, 2021.

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