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EIT Management Team

Working closely together in the daily management of the EIT, the EIT Management Team consists of the EIT Director and the Heads of the following Operations and Units at the EIT:

EIT Director 

  • Administration Unit

Operations 1 - Knowledge and Innovation Communities

  • Supervision and Monitoring Unit
  • Grant Implementation Unit

Operations 2 - Innovation, Education and Communication

  • Innovation Ecosystem Unit
  • Communication & Engagement Unit Administration Unit

Adam Rottenbacher  

Head of Operations, Knowledge and Innovation Communities

Adam Rottenbacher is the Head of Operations, Knowledge and Innovation Communities at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). He is in charge of managing the operational activities of the EIT and overseeing its core business units in order to achieve the objectives of the EIT. He also supports the EIT Governing Board in their strategic decision-making and supervision role, and he deputises the EIT Director in his absence. He works for the EIT since 2012, first as Finance Officer and then as Head of Director’s Office as from 2015.

Before joining the EIT, Adam worked as a financial auditor in the European Commission at the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, where he was responsible for the audit and financial control of EU-funded operational programmes aimed at regional development and capacity building in several EU Member States. While working for the European Commission, he gained seven years of experience in the field of EU finances and grant management as well as an in-depth knowledge of the functioning of EU institutions.

Prior to becoming an EU official, Adam worked in the private sector in corporate banking as a project finance manager and in one of the Big Four firms as auditor. He has almost 20 years of experience implementing EU innovation and regional policies as well as hands-on experience in public and private sector finances and auditing.

Adam holds an MSc in Business Administration/Finance from Corvinus University in Budapest and he is a qualified member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the UK.

Annual Declaration of Interest


Dávid Tas

Head of Unit, Supervision and Monitoring Unit

Dávid Tas is the Head of Supervision and Monitoring Unit at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), leading the strategic supervision and monitoring of Innovation Communities in order to achieve the objectives laid down in the EIT’s Strategic Innovation Agenda, and support the EIT Governing Board and EIT Director in decision making. He joined the EIT in 2012 as Finance Officer, then became Head of Grant Assurance Section until being appointed Head of Unit in 2019, overseeing grant implementation, operational processes and simplifications in interactions with the Innovation Communities.

Dávid began his career in the private sector as auditor at one of the Big Four firms, working on assignments at different clients in various business sectors. Prior to joining the EIT, he had 10 years of experience managing projects funded by the EU and other international organisations. Firstly, he worked as auditor in DG Agriculture and Rural Development at the European Commission, verifying compliance of expenditure with EU legislation and sound financial management in the Member States. Afterwards, he worked in different functions, among others, Head of Finance at the Financial Mechanism Office (part of the European Free Trade Association) in Brussels, developing operational processes and overseeing projects funded by the EEA and Norway Grants, a multi-billion euro programme supporting different policy areas and a large variety of public and private stakeholders.

Dávid holds an MSc in Business Administration from Corvinus University in Budapest and qualified as a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the UK.

Annual Declaration of Interest


Manuel Irún MOLINA

Head of Unit, Grant Implementation

Manuel Irún Molina is the Head of Grant Implementation Unit at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. His main responsibilities cover the management and coordination of the grant implementation and assurance, operational processes and programme simplifications in collaboration with the Innovation Communities. He joined the EIT in 2017 as Programme Officer managing partnerships between EIT Headquarters and EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, then became Head of Innovation Communities Management Section until being appointed Head of Unit in July 2022.

Manuel began his career as a chemist working for university and industry on different multi-sectorial assignments at National and European level.

Prior to joining the EIT, he had 10 years of experience managing projects funded by the EU and in the EU policy making. Firstly, he worked as innovation officer and coordinator for Regional and Higher Education Institutions in Brussels, dealing during this period among other with EU Programmes and Partnerships management for EIT Climate-KIC.

Afterwards, he worked as Project Adviser in the Executive Agency for SMEs, EASME, at the European Commission in Brussels managing research and innovation calls and projects granted by Horizon programme, the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. He also has experience as lecturer in teamwork dynamics based on his professional time as football player in Spain and as he is active practitioner on Participatory Leadership methodologies as trained by the European Commission.

Manuel holds a PhD in Chemistry and a MSc in Industrial Chemistry by the University Jaume I in Castellon (Spain), an Executive MBA by Imperial College London Business School (UK), a specialist title in setting up effective clusters on clean-tech innovation by the University of Berkeley in California (USA), a specialist title in European Union by the Institute of European Studies, School of Europe in Brugge (Belgium) and a specialist degree in Environment and Natural Resources management by the University Polytechnic of Madrid (Spain).

Annual Declaration of Interest



Head of Unit, Innovation Ecosystem

Márton Herczeg is the Head of the Innovation Ecosystem Unit, leading several strategic initiatives and actions enhancing the impact of the EIT Innovation Ecosystem. His unit is leading on the Innovation, Business Creation and Entrepreneurial Education pillars and coordinates the EIT Regional Innovation Schemes and Global Outreach and joint, Cross-KIC activities.

Márton joined the EIT in April 2016 as Programme Officer to manage the partnership between EIT Headquarters and EIT RawMaterials until being appointed Head of the that time newly created Strategy and Impact Unit from January 2018. Following the reorganization of the EIT, he has been leading the Innovation Ecosystem Unit since July 2022.

Prior to joining the EIT, Dr. Herczeg was Head of EU and International Consulting with the Copenhagen Resource Institute (now part of NIRAS Gruppen A/S) in Denmark for more than eight years, where he led teams involved in strategic planning and solutions for better policy applications for clients, including several European Commission Directorate Generals, the European Environment Agency, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and various Danish Ministries.

He began his carrier at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) as researcher and lecturer while also managing projects at non-governmental and private organisations.  

Márton has over 15 years of experience advising EU and national policymakers and other decision makers on science and evidence-based strategies, initiatives and policies on sustainable management of natural resources and waste, eco-innovation, resource efficiency and productivity. He also has eight years of experience as a university lecturer in environmental management and economics, environmental performance evaluation, and sustainable resource management.

He is author and co-author of more than 70 publications, including several analytical papers, policy reports and briefs, research reports, books and articles in professional journals.

Márton holds an MSc in Bioengineering and a PhD in Economics and Management from BME.

Annual Declaration of Interest

Caroline Vandenplas


Acting Head of Unit, Communication & Engagement

Caroline is the Acting Head of Communication & Engagement Unit at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) since January 2023. With 15 years’ experience in corporate communications, she oversees public affairs and public relations, managing the EIT’s engagement with its stakeholders and all external communications. Before this, she was Head of the Communications Section at the EIT, leading the Institute’s corporate communications and responsible for the organisation’s media, social media and web presence.

Caroline began her career in the private sector with stints in the banking sector and in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. Prior to joining the EIT, she worked at the European Commission in various roles.

Caroline holds a MSc in International Marketing from the University of Strathclyde Business School and a BSc in International Business and German from the University of Warwick.

Annual Declaration of Interest



Head of Unit, Administration

Tzvetan Zafirov has more than 20 years of professional experience at different managerial positions, both in international organizations as well as in the private sector.

Prior to joining EIT he was the Second Deputy Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Right (ODIHR) in Warsaw, Poland. Previously he has served for more than 13 years as the Deputy Director for Operations with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lao PDR, Cyprus, the Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific in Sri Lanka, and Bulgaria. Before joining UNDP he has worked for more than 7 years in the banking and finance sector.

Tzvetan has an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master's degree in International Economic Relations from the University for National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Annual Declaration of Interest