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Stefan Dobrev Appointed As New Chairperson of EIT Governing Board

During its meeting on 26 March, the EIT Governing Board unanimously elected Stefan Dobrev as its next Chairperson and he will succeed Nektarios Tavernarakis on 1 July 2024. Silvia Lenaerts and Jan Figel have also been elected to join the Executive Committee of the EIT Governing Board on 1 July.

The EIT’s new Chairperson will bring extensive international experience in senior roles in innovation, industry and ecosystem building to the role. 

I’m thrilled that Stefan will become the EIT’s next Chairperson. Thanks to his expertise and commitment to the EIT, I’m convinced that the EIT Community will continue to deliver as a unique innovation catalyst. As Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem, our impact driving competitiveness and accelerating the green and digital transition under Horizon Europe is impressive. It’s clear that the EIT Community will continue to deliver under his vision and leadership.

Nektarios Tavernarakis, Outgoing Chair of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology

I’m honoured and excited to take on this new role and would like to thank Nektarios and our fellow Board Members for their trust. I’ve seen firsthand how the EIT's unique public-private community model catalyses efficient collaboration between research, academia, industry and entrepreneurs, leading to truly impactful innovation. I will continue to ensure that as a Board we steer the EIT to focus on enhancing Europe's competitiveness and tackling our most pressing challenges. I look forward to working with our partners across Europe to deliver this.

Stefan Dobrev, Incoming Chair of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology

The EIT Governing Board is the EIT's principal governing body, entrusted with the Institute’s strategic leadership. It decides the overall direction of its operational activities and is responsible for the selection, evaluation, and support of the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities. It is independent in its decision-making with the European Commission acting as observer.


Stefan Dobrev

Stefan brings extensive experience at the intersection of strategy and technology, notably innovation management, establishing open innovation ecosystems and maximizing the impact of R&D and investment. This builds on a 25-year career in business, venture finance and consulting, focused on helping business leverage science and technology for commercial success.

He was previously Vice President of the Board of MassChallenge Switzerland, which he co-founded, Global Head of Innovation Partnerships for the Nestlé Group, Head of Group Strategy and Business Development at Theo Müller Group and Director at L.E.K. Consulting. As an entrepreneur, he was founder and managing director of Plantopia and advisor and board member for a number of other start-ups. Stefan currently serves as a Global Head of Plant-Based for the Emmi Group. Born in Sofia, Stefan holds a degree in economics from the University of Oxford. 

Nektarios Tavernarakis

Nektarios is Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, in Heraklion, Greece. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), and Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) of FORTH, where he is heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory. 

He is the Founder and first Director of the Graduate Program on BioInformatics at the University of Crete. He is Chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Governing Board, and has served as Vice President of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), and Director of IMBB. 

Learn more about Nektarios Tavernarakis