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: Professor of Computer Science, University of Cyprus

Elpida Keravnou-Papailiou is Professor of Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Cyprus. She served as the first Rector of the Cyprus University of Technology during the period 2012-2015. 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 (2009-2010).

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, as a member of the Governing Board of the Cyprus Foundation for National Scholarships and as 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: 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


Current position: Co-CEO and board member, Videoton Holding

Peter Lakatos is Hungarian and was born in Budapest in 1961. He graduated from the Technical University of Budapest as an electrical engineer in 1983 and went on to perform scientific work as a Ph.D. student in computer science on "Man-Machine Interaction".

He began his professional career at Műszertechnika Zrt. in 1986, and was a Member of the Board of Müszertechnika Zrt. from 1991 till 2013. In 1991, he joined Videoton Holding Zrt as a shareholder, where he is today a co-CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. Since 2007, he has been the joint owner and honorary president of Bravogroup Holding. Founded in 1992, Bravogroup Holding is one of the largest info communicational enterprises in Hungary. From 1999, the corporation has worked under the holding structure, representing the company on the business market through separate firms.

Together with his wife, Peter established and operates a charity website (ad6kap6) that has been online since 2008.

Peter is also the Vice President of MGYOSZ (Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists), which is a member federation of BUSINESSEUROPE. Here, his objective is to increase the number of successful Hungarian companies on the world market. Peter  was selected as a Global Leader for tomorrow in 1995 by the World Economic Forum, and received the civilian Hungarian Order of Merit in 2015. 

Term of office: 2016-2020

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Director of Biocenter Finland

Marja Makarow has been Director of Biocenter Finland since July 2016. She is the former Vice-President of the Academy of Finland - the Finnish Research Council (2012-2016) and Chair of the board of NordForsk, the platform for cross-border research collaboration between the Nordic countries. She served as Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation in France between 2008 and 2011, and as Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation of the University of Helsinki between 2003 and 2007. Ms Makarow is Professor of Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Ms Makarow advised the EU Commissioner of Research and Innovation in the European Research Area Board on Horizon 2020, and the Finnish Government in the Prime Minister’s Research and Innovation Council on development of the Finnish research system and the university renovation between 2008 and 2011. She was Vice Chair of the board of the then newly established Aalto University between 2008 and 2012. She has steered research assessment exercises of several universities and research institutes, and evaluated the performance of research funding agencies and EU programmes such as Eurostars and the Joint Research Institute. She was Panel Chair for the European Research Council ERC until 2012. She has been an Appointed 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. Ms Makarow has chaired, from 2015, the board of Technology Academy Finland that awards one of the world’s most prestigious innovation prizes, the Millennium Technology Prize.  

Term of office: 2012-2020

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Managing Partner, Munich Venture Partners

Dr Rolf P. Nagel is German and was born in 1965. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from the University of Cologne and a Master’s Degree (Diplom-Kfm.) from the WHU Koblenz, Germany. While completing his Ph.D., he was awarded a research scholarship at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, USA.

Dr Nagel is Managing Partner of Munich Venture Partners, which he co-founded in 2004. Munich Venture Partners is a leading high-technology, research-to-business-transfer venture fund investing in innovative start-up companies in the European Union, with a focus on IT and Energy-Clean Tech. Munich Venture Partners has secured financial commitments from a wide range of institutional, private and philanthropic investors in the EU and the USA.

Currently, Dr Nagel is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Novihum Technologies GmbH, a Director of Shopwell, and an Observer of Harvest Power and Kebony, in addition to serving as Managing Partner of Munich Venture Partners.

Prior to founding Munich Venture Partners, he was an Investment Manager and Partner of SVM Star Ventures Management from 1994 to 2004 in the Munich office. He managed international investments in IT (e.g. Ciena, RF Micro Devices), energy (e.g. Capstone) and medical companies (e.g. Medigene), many of which were successfully taken public. 

Term of office: 2016-2020

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA)

Professor Björn O. Nilsson is Swedish and is the President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). He has a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. Professor Nilsson has served in a number of management and executive roles in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, mainly within the Pharmacia group of companies. These leading roles include CEO, President and Vice President.

Professor Nilsson was also, for four years, Chairman of the Swedish Biotechnology Industry Organisation (SwedenBIO). Today, he serves on the boards of a number of companies, including Chairman of the Board of the public biotechnology company Biolnvent International AB. Professor Nilsson is also a board or committee member of a number of governmental and non-governmental organisations in areas such as science, education and innovation.

Term of office: 2016-2020

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

Ana S. Trbović

Current position: Full Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration

Dr Ana S. Trbović is an academic, a policy advisor, civic activist and an entrepreneur. As Full Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration (FEFA), a leading business school in Belgrade, she teaches and researches Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness, Strategic and Public Administration Management, Good Governance and European Integration. She is Partner at EuroBalkan Advisors (EBA) and consults for private and international organisations including the EU and the World Bank. She is co-founder of Grid Singularity technology venture and co-founder of Intersection, action-tank promoting science in the Western Balkans. Actively engaged in Serbia’s economic reforms, both as a nonpolitical high government official and an external advisor, she is proud to have been the first official to coordinate Serbia’s EU accession process.  She holds a PhD from the Fletcher School (Tufts and Harvard University) and Master Degrees from the Fletcher School and Harvard Kennedy School. She is the author of “A Legal Geography of Yugoslavia’s Disintegration” (Oxford University Press) and other publications on good governance and competitiveness policy. She serves on boards of several business associations in Serbia and the Belgrade Philharmonic.

Term of Office: 2016-2020

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Chair of the Sanquin Board

Dirk Jan van den Berg is Dutch and holds an MSc in Econometrics. He also completed ENA (Paris) in the Cycle Etranger.

He has a diverse set of experiences, in terms of working environment as well as challenges on substance. For the last three decades, he has worked at the highest levels of the corporate world, international relations, academia and government. This leadership and executive experience has centred across all three major zones of contemporary global power (Europe, the United States and China), allowing him to cultivate an exceptional global network of contacts. During his career, he built up extensive experience in operational monitoring, corporate public affairs, future technologies and product development and their impact on business strategies of companies.

He has led large and complex organisations, for instance the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation (MFA) in the Netherlands, where he held several positions, including permanent Secretary, Trade Policy director, chief economist and deputy director general of Foreign Economic Relations. He was also president of Delft University of Technology (DUT) and in his current position as the chair of the Sanquin Board, his activities cover the full spectrum of CEO responsibilities

In these roles he acquired a full and hands-on leadership style covering varying aspects, including strategy development, the design and implementation of planning and evaluation cycles - internal control, complex (de-)mergers and acquisitions, HR management, ICT policies, detailed budget management and (internal) communications and public affairs.

Term of office: 2016-2020

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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