First steps towards the selection of new EIT Governing Board members: EIT Steering Committee appointed

The Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) appointed a Steering Committee to oversee the selection of four new members of the EIT Governing Board. The new members of the EIT Governing Board are to be appointed by the European Commission in summer 2016.  

The recently set up Steering Committee is composed of the following members EIT Governing Board: Ulf Johansson (Chairperson), Jana Kolar and Marja Makarow. They are professionals of highest competence, providing a balance of expertise and backgrounds.  They will be in charge of identifying a list of potential candidates for the EIT Governing Board that will replace four current members whose term of office is coming to an end. The list of candidates will be submitted to the European Commission in the spring of 2016. The Steering Committee will guarantee the independence, legitimacy and credibility of the selection process for four new members of the EIT Governing Board.

The EIT Governing Board is entrusted with providing the strategic leadership of the Institute. It is independent and autonomous in its decision-making and is in particular responsible for the selection, designation and evaluation of the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).

Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are a unique type of partnerships within the European innovation landscape. KICs develop innovative products and services, foster new business, encourage growth and train a new generation of entrepreneurs. They address focused innovation topics and integrate public and private research organisations, innovative industries, higher education institutions, investors, start-ups and spin-offs into unprecedented networks combining the diverse competencies needed to make innovation happen.

The first three KICs were designated in December 2009: Climate-KIC, EIT Digital and KIC InnoEnergy.  As an integral part of Horizon2020, the EU Programme for Research and Innovation, the EIT expanded its activities in 2014 with the designation of EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials. A new Call for KICs proposals will be launched in January 2016 to designate EIT Food and EIT Manufacturing in November 2016. 


About the selection process of new EIT Governing Board members

The selection process for the identification of the four new appointed EIT Governing Board members will start with a call for expression of interest to be published in November 2015. Following this, the Steering will prepare a shortlist of individuals to be proposed as members of the EIT Governing Board. The Governing Board will transmit the shortlist to the European Commission for the formal appointment of the four new EIT Governing Board members.

On the basis of this proposal, the European Commission will send a report summarising the selection process and its results to the Council and the European Parliament, who have a period of one month to take cognisance of the outcome of the selection process. The four new members of the Governing Board will then be nominated by a European Commission Decision expected in summer 2016. 

About the Steering Committee

Ulf JOHANSSON (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.

Jana KOLAR (Head of Research, founder and majority owner of Morana rtd)

Dr. Jana Kolar is the founder of Morana rtd. In 1990 she was employed by the Conservation department of the National and University Library. She was Head of the Conservation and Preservation department between 1992 and 2005. Between 2005 and 2009 she was employed as the head of the Laboratory for Cultural Heritage. From 2004 she was head of RD at Morana rtd. 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.

Marja MAKAROW (Vice-President 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.