Meet the Governing Board | European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT)

Meet the Governing Board

This page presents the current members of the EIT Governing Board. It lists each member’s biography, as well as his or her declaration of interests and confidentiality undertaking.

Chairman of the EIT Governing Board



Current position: Director ActiFoods ApS.

Prof. Peter Olesen is Chairman of the EIT Governing Board since 1 August 2014 having joined the board in August 2012. He spent 25 years as Research Director, Vice President of R&D and Executive VP/CSO in four major international companies: Danisco A/S (Denmark) from 1983 to 1993; Sandoz Seeds Ltd. (France) from 1994 to 1995; CPKelco/Hercules Inc. (DK & US) from 1996 to 2000; Chr.Hansen A/S (DK) from 2000 to 2008.

He has held three appointments as affiliated professor at the University of Copenhagen: Plant Sciences form 1986 to 1991 and from 1993 to 1998; Functional Foods from 2008 to 2013. From 2009 to 2011 he was professor at the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Copenhagen. He has been Chairman of the Executive Board of the Danish Council for Strategic Research from 2008 to 2014 and member of the Executive Board of the Danish Innovation Fund 2014-15. In 2008 he founded his own consulting company, ActiFoods ApS.

Term of office: 2012-2018

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Members of the EIT Governing Board Executive Committee



Current position: Rector of the Cyprus University of Technology

Professor Elpida Keravnou-Papailiou is the first Rector of the Cyprus University of Technology as of January 2012. She started her academic career in the Department of Computer Science at University College London in 1985. In 1992 she took up an academic position in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus where she served as Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs from 2002 to 2006, as Dean of the School of Pure and Applied Sciences from 1999 to 2002 and as the first Chairperson of the Department of Computer Science from 1994 to 1998. She also served as President of the Governing Board of the Cyprus University of Technology.

She is Associate Editor of the scientific journal Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (Elsevier) since the launch of the journal in 1989. During the period from 2003 to 2005 she served as Chairperson of the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Europe (AIME) Board.

She has served as Chairperson of the Cyprus Council for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications, as a member of the Council for Educational Evaluation and Accreditation, and as a member of the Governing Board of the Cyprus Foundation for National Scholarships. Currently she is Vice-Chair of the Evaluation Committee for Private Universities in Cyprus.

Term of office: 2012-2018

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence



Current position: Executive Director, CERIC-ERIC

Dr. Jana Kolar is the executive director of CERIC-ERIC, a distributed research infrastructure for characterization of materials.

In 1990 she was employed by the Conservation department of the National and University Library where she was the head of the Conservation and Preservation department and latter the head of the Laboratory for Cultural Heritage. In 2004 she had founded a company Morana rdt.

Dr. Kolar has been Director General of the Science and Technology Directorate within the Slovenian Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and chair of the governing board of the Slovenian technology agency. She is currently a member of the high-level expert body advising the Austrian Minister responsible for Science and a member of the Horizon 2020 advisory group Innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises.


Term of office: 2012-2018

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence



Current position: Honorary President of the National Academy of Technologies of France

Bruno Revellin-Falcoz is the former Vice Chairman of Dassault Aviation Corp. Graduated Engineer of Sup’Aéro, he joined Dassault Aviation in 1963 until 2008. He was appointed Senior Vice President Engineering in 1982 and carried the technical responsibility of all Dassault’s civilian and military aeronautical and space programmes. Throughout his career, Bruno Revellin Falcoz set up and built on partnerships with various public R&D laboratories in order to develop co-operation leading to industrial applications.

Term of office: 2012-2018

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

EIT Governing Board members



Current position: Founder and Chairman of Graphisoft SE; Graphisoft Park SE; and Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT)

Gabor Bojar founded the architectural software company Graphisoft in 1982 in Hungary, well before the fall of the Iron Courtain. Today Graphisoft is the worldwide market leader in the field of 3D building modeling. Graphisoft Park SE a real-estate enterprise, spin-off of the software firm, re-cultivated an industrial site on the bank of the river Danube and turned it into a state-of-the art science park, which now hosts Microsoft, SAP, Servier and many other high-tech companies.

In 2007, Gabor established a school of information technology and entrepreneurship for an international student body. AIT is an example of social entrepreneurship demonstrating the viability of a self-sustaining investment in higher education.

Term of office: 2012-2016

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Vice President of the Business Solution Division of Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

María Garaña Corces is the vice president of the Business Solution Division of Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) with responsibility for sales, marketing and operations of Microsoft Dynamics business in the region. She has a MBA from Harvard Business School, an International Trade Diploma by Berkeley University and a Bachelor degree in Law and Business Administration from San Pablo University in Madrid (Spain). 

María Garaña joined Microsoft in 2002 as Chief Operations Officer for Microsoft Mexico. After three years, she moved to Argentina, as Microsoft Regional VP for the South Cone (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) In 2008 she was appointed CEO of Microsoft Spain leading Spain's end to end operations until July 2015.

Before joining Microsoft, María Garaña worked for several companies in Europe, United States and México, including Zoom Media Group, Television Azteca Group, Merrill Lynch International, Andersen Consulting and Citibank.

María Garaña is a board member of listed retail bank Liberbank in Spain, and Euler Hermes in Paris. She is also part of the advisory council of Harvard Business School.

Term of office: 2012-2020

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Former Chairman of the board of Novo A/S and Novo Nordisk Foundation

Dr. Ulf Johansson has been a Member of the Board of Ericsson since 2005. In 1990, he founded Europolitan Holdings AB, a Swedish GSM mobile telephone operator, which was publicly listed from 1994 to 2003. He was Chairman of the Board of Europolitan Vodafone AB until 2005.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of Novo Nordisk A/S from 1998 to 2005. From 2005 to 2013, he was Chairman of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and Novo A/S, the private Danish investment company, parent of the NovoNordisk Group and majority owner of NovoNordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm from 1998 to 2003 and is, since 1990, a member of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Term of office: 2012-2016

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Vice-President for of the Academy of Finland

Marja Makarow is vice-president of the Academy of Finland, the Finnish research council, since 2012. She served as chief executive of the European Science Foundation in France in 2008-2011, and as vice-rector for research and innovation of the University of Helsinki in 2003-2007. Marja Makarow is professor of applied molecular biology. She is Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology EIT since 2012, and vice chair of the advisory group of the EU’s Future and Emerging Technologies program FET since 2014. 

She served as panel chair for the European Research Council ERC till 2012. Marja Makarow advised the EU Commissioner of Research and Innovation in the European Research Area Board on the concept of Horizon2020, and the Finnish Government in the Prime Minister’s Research and Innovation Council on development and funding of the Finnish research system and the renovation of the universities in 2008-2011. She was vice chair of the Board of the Aalto University in 2008-2012, when this new university was conceived. She has steered research assessment exercises of several universities and research institutes, and evaluated EU activities such as the Eurostars program and the Joint Research Institute. Marja Makarow chairs the board of Technology Academy Finland that award one of the world’s most significant innovation prizes, the Millennium Technology Prize.  

Term of office: 2012-2020

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Provost/President of Trinity College Dublin

Dr Patrick Prendergast is Provost of Trinity College Dublin. He held the Chair of Bio-engineering from 2007 to 2011. He has been a visiting professor in the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research in Warsaw and the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona. He was senior research fellow at the Technical University of Delft in The Netherlands and has also held several positions in Trinity College such as Director of the Centre for Bioengineering, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer of the University of Dublin.

Dr. Prendergast is widely known internationally, having held several high profile positions in national and international scientific societies. He was President of the European Society of Biomechanics from 2002 to 2004; President of the European Alliance of Medical and Biological Engineering and Science (EAMBES) in 2007; and elected as a founding Fellow of EAMBES in March 2012.

Term of office: 2012-2020

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Gianfelice ROCCA

Current position: Chairman of Techint Group

Gianfelice Rocca is Chairman of the Techint Group, a multinational corporation whose activities span across the steel industry, energy and power sectors, industrial and process plants, infrastructure and services. Mr. Rocca is member of the Board of Directors of Tenaris and Ternium, the main public companies of the Techint Group. He is President and Founder of the "Istituto Clinico Humanitas", one of the most important hospitals in Europe. In June 2013 he was elected President of Assolombarda, the largest territorial association of entrepreneurs in Italy.

At international level, he is a member of the Allianz SE Advisory Board, of the Aspen Institute Executive Committee, of the Harvard Business School Advisory Board and of the Trilateral Commission. In Italy, he sits on the Board of Directors of Allianz SpA, Brembo SpA, Buzzi Unicem SpA. From May 2004 to May 2012 he was Vice President for Education of Confindustria.

In June 2007 he was appointed Cavaliere del Lavoro of the Italian Republic and in March 2009 he was presented with a honoris causa degree in management engineering by Milan Politecnico. In 2010 he received from the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, the 2009 Leonardo Award for his contribution to enhancing Italy’s international standing in steel-making, energy and infrastructure.

Gianfelice Rocca graduated cum laude in Physics at University of Milan and got a PMD at Harvard Business School.

Term of office: 2012-2016

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence



Current position: Non-executive Director of Shell Company

Born October 27, 1947. A Dutch national, appointed as Non-executive Director of Shell Company with effect from July 2009. Previously he was Chief Executive since October 2004.

He was appointed President of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company in 2000, having been a Managing Director since 1997. He was a Director of Shell Canada Limited from 2003 until 2005. He was named Chief Executive in 2004 and led Shell through major change, simplifying governance and organization, while clarifying accountabilities. In 2009 and 2010 Jeroen was Vice-Chairman of a group of experts who advised for a new Strategic Concept for NATO. He was World President of the Society of Chemical Industry from 2002 to 2004.

From 2000 to 2004 he served as a supervisory board member of The Dutch Central Bank. He is Advisor to Oman since 2009. He chaired ‘Platform Beta Techniek’, a governmental institute promoting education in science and technology from 2009 to 2011. He was Vice-Chairman and Senior Independent Director of Unilever (which includes Unilever N.V. and Unilever plc) to May 2011. Nowadays Jeroen is Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. and of ING Group. He also has various roles in several foundations and charities.

Term of office: 2012-2016

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Representative EIT Governing Board members


Jean-François ABRAMATIC

Current position: Research Director, Transfer & Innovation division, Inria

Dr Jean-François Abramatic’s career has been shared between research and industry in the area of Information & Communications Technology. He started his career as a research scientist in differential games (Ecole des Mines de Paris 1972-1974) and image processing (IRIA 1974-1983). He received his PhD from University Paris VI in 1980. After managing a research and development programme (1984-1988) aimed at designing scientific workstations, he became chairman and CEO of a start up company selling graphics terminals (1988-1991) which merged with a US partner (1992). In 1993, he returned to Inria as Director of Development and Industrial Relations (1993-1996). Among various development partnerships, he launched the European host of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1995. In 1996, he moved to MIT as Chairman of W3C (1996-2001). He then joined ILOG as Vice President of Research and Development and became Chief Product Officer in 2004. After the acquisition of ILOG by IBM in 2008, he became Director of ILOG Research and Development within IBM Software Group. In 2011, he moved to IBM headquarters as Director Development Productivity & Innovation in the Enterprise Transformation division. He retired from IBM in 2014 and returned to Inria in the Transfer & Innovation division.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Prorector for Education, University of Copenhagen

Lykke Friis, PhD, is Prorector for Education at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She is former Minister of Climate & Energy and Minister for Gender Equality. She has published extensively on matters of the EU, European politics and foreign policy and she is frequently used as an expert analyst by Danish TV.
Lykke Friis has held close to 20 honorary offices, including Member of the EU Reflection group appointed by the European Council. She presently serves on the International Crisis Group and the European Council of Foreign Relations as well as on the boards of three major Danish companies: The Velux Group, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, and The Rockwool Foundation. Moreover, she is member of the Trilateral Commission and is chairman of the Danish Foreign Policy Society.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Consultant in the traffic, transportation and energy business

Since 2011 Hans Hubschneider works as a consultant in the traffic, transportation and energy business. Hans Hubschneider was born in 1951, has a degree in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany), and holds a PhD in transportation sciences. In 1979, he founded PTV AG, Karlsruhe, which he led from 1981 to 2011 as CEO. PTV AG is the international market leader in software products for the design and optimization of mobility systems, employing roughly 600 staff worldwide. In 2011 Hans started a new engagement in the domain of renewable energies. He represents the start-up company AVA-CO2 (Switzerland) in external affairs, supports KIC InnoEnergy, and is a member of the German think tank “BDI Internet der Energie”.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

European Commission Observer



Director-General for Education and Culture, European Commission

Martine Reicherts is the Director-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission since September 2015. She is responsible for EU policies in the field of education and training, and for the EU education programmes for 2014-2020 period, including Erasmus+ and Marie Skłodowska-Curie. As Director-General, she is also responsible for EU policies and programmes in the field of culture, youth and sports, and for the 2014-2020 Creative Europe programme. Martine Reicherts represents the European Commission in the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

From 2007 until 2015 she has worked as Director-General for the Publications Office of the European Union. She obtained a postgraduate degree in Business Law from the "Paris II" University (France) and holds Master’s degree in Business Law from the University of Luxembourg (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), University of Nice (France), and University of Aix-en-Provence (France). She is from Luxembourg, and fluent in French, German, English, and Luxembourgish.

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