EIT Governing Board

The Governing Board is the EIT's principal governing body, entrusted with the strategic leadership of the Institute and the overall direction of the operational activities implemented by the EIT Headquarters. It is independent and autonomous in its decision-making and is responsible for the selection, evaluation and support of the EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities

The Governing Board brings together 12 high calibre members balancing prominent expertise from higher education, research, business and innovation.  Members have a four-year non-renewable term of office.

In accordance with the EIT Regulation, 12 members are appointed to the EIT Governing Board by the European Commission. The European Commission considers the balance between higher education, research, innovation and business experience as well as gender and geographical balance when appointing members to the EIT Governing Board members. 

The Governing Board members act in the interests of the EIT, safeguarding its goals and mission, identity, autonomy and coherence, in an independent and transparent way.

This page presents the current members of the EIT Governing Board. It lists each member’s biography, as well as their declaration of interests and confidentiality undertaking. In the case of newly appointed Governing Board members, such declarations of interest or confidentiality undertakings have not yet been prepared, and will be added at the earliest opportunity.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee supports the activities of the Governing Board by overseeing the implementation of its strategic decisions. It consists of the EIT Governing Board Chairperson and three members of the EIT Governing Board.

European Commission Observer

In accordance with the EIT Regulation, the European Commission appoints an observer to take part in the meetings of the Governing Board and of the Executive Committee.

Chair of the EIT Governing Board & Executive Committee


Current position: Professor, Medical School, University of Crete and Chairman of the Board of Directors, FORTH

Nektarios Tavernarakis is a distinguished 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), the largest Research Institution of Greece. He has served as Director of FORTH’s Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), where he is heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory. He is the Founder and first Director of the Graduate Program on BioInformatics at the Medical School of the University of Crete. He earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Crete, and trained as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA.

His work focuses on the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death and neurodegeneration, the interplay between cellular metabolism and ageing, the mechanisms of sensory transduction and integration by the nervous system, and the development of novel genetic tools for biomedical research. He is a member and Vice President of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC). He has been elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Academia Europaea, and corresponding member of the Academy of Athens. He has received several notable scientific prizes and awards, including two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants, and an innovation-supporting ERC Proof of Concept Grant. He is also the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award, the Helmholtz International Fellow Award, the EMBO Young Investigator award, the Galien Scientific Research Award, the BioMedical Research Award of the Academy of Athens, the Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology, and the Empeirikeion Foundation Academic Excellence Prize..

For more information, click here.

Term of office: 2020-2024

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Members of the EIT Governing Board & Executive Committee


Current position:  Director of Riga Business School at Riga Technical University

Janis Grevins is an academic executive with a strong focus on institutional development, technology implementation and business linkages. He has been the Director of Riga Business School at Riga Technical University since April 2003. He also serves as the independent member on the Supervisory Board of Tet Ltd., Latvia. Between 1998 and 2003 he studied for his MBA and PhD degrees, and worked as a project coordinator at the School of Management of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA. His research was devoted to the analysis of the effects of modern communications on project management performance.

The strong academic training combined with broad international management experience has allowed Mr. Grevins to provide leadership for international institutional development initiatives and implementations for several national strategy projects linked to technology adoption.

Term of office: 2021-2025

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Martina LARKIN

Current position: Head of Europe and Eurasia at the World Economic Forum

Martina N. Larkin is a Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Europe and Eurasia of the World Economic Forum. Previously, she headed the Forum’s Global Knowledge Networks, a think tank of over 1 600 global experts across multi-disciplinary fields, the world’s leading universities, think tanks and other research-based organisations. She was also the editor of 'Outlook on the Global Agenda'. Before leading the Global Knowledge Networks, she oversaw the development of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a Foundation dedicated to fostering global leadership among talented young people. Prior to joining the World Economic Forum, she was Associate Vice-President with Lazar & Company, a New York-based investment bank, and she has held positions in marketing and sales at Nestlé Switzerland.

Mrs Larkin holds an MBA and a BS in Finance and was awarded the prestigious Yale World Fellowship from Yale University in 2011 as the first Swiss person to be awarded this honor. She is a member of several non profit Boards, including the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Deusto University in Spain, Circulo de Empresarios in Spain, and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Term of office: 2020-2024

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Partner, Energy & Resources Industry leader at Deloitte

Razvan Nicolescu previously served as the Romanian Minister of Energy. He is currently a partner of Deloitte responsible for energy and climate change practice and is an associate professor of the Romanian Academy for the Economic Studies. He began his professional career as an energy researcher with a strong academic background. He is a reputable European expert on energy and climate change issues, having significant experience in bringing innovation, the academic community and business leaders to effectively work together.

He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Polytechnical University of Bucharest and a MBA degree from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. In addition, he has graduated from executive programmes at Stanford Business School and he is currently doing a PhD in the field of climate change.

Term of office: 2021-2025

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Attila VEGH

Current position: Chairman of the Board, Medinet, UK

Attila has over 20 years of leadership experience as CEO and Chairman at Europe’s largest healthcare and investment organisations. His executive career includes Group CEO of Capio AB, one of Europe’s largest hospital chains with 250+ hospitals and clinics in five countries. He was Group CEO of Penta Hospitals International, Europe’s fastest-growing multi-national hospital group. He was also CEO of leading university teaching hospitals and academic medical centres in London, Cambridge and Manchester. In addition, he was Executive Partner at Fidelity International’s Eight Roads, a leading investment firm in London.

Prior to his executive career, he worked in McKinsey’s healthcare practice, transforming blue-chip global companies in over 15 countries. He is a trained clinician with experience as a doctor and academic researcher, holding a PhD in Molecular Cancer Research from Sorbonne University (Paris), an MSc in Health Management from Imperial College (London), and trained as a Medical Doctor at Humboldt University (Berlin), the University of New York and Semmelweis University (Budapest).

Currently, Attila is leading the Boards of several Private Equity owned multi-national digital and healthcare companies as Chairman/Director of the Board. In addition, he advises large capital private equity funds across Europe.

Term of office: 2020-2024

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Members of the EIT Governing Board


Mark Boris Andrijanic was appointed Slovenia's first-ever minister for digital transformation in July2021. From 2016 to 2021, he worked for the American technology company Uber, most recently as Head of Safety Policy in EMEA. Prior to joining Uber, Mr Andrijanič was a Visiting Fellow at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels, where his research focused on the EU’s digital and economic policies. Before coming to Brussels, he advised the Government of Sierra Leone on economic reforms. In Slovenia, he co-founded and led a number of NGOs aimed at promoting active citizenship and entrepreneurship, including the Network of Ideas association. He still leads the Oxbridge Club Slovenia, which brings together Slovenians who have studied at Oxford or Cambridge. Mark Boris Andrijanič graduated with honours from the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, and he holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from the University of Oxford.

Term of office: 2022-2026

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Heinrich ARNOLD

Current position: Multi-board member, Partner Creative Dock, Founder Deutsche Digital 

Heinrich Arnold is a top manager, investor, and board member always acting on the innovation transformation of Europe. From 2016 to 2019, he has been CEO of Detecon, the largest technology consultancy from Germany. Before, he was in charge of corporate R&D of Deutsche Telekom/ T-Mobile with locations in Israel, Germany, and Silicon Valley for over a decade. That made him youngest head of R&D of a German Top 20 company. He has contributed significantly to the emergence of the Berlin and Israel innovation ecosystems.

Arnold acts on several advisory boards in the high-tech industry and policy including Davidson Capital, Germany’s first venture debt provider. He started his career at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and co-founded the first Sino-German Biotech start-up Bicoll. Arnold holds a MSc from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in technology management. He is honorary professor of Engineering of Digital Transformation at TU Berlin.

Term of office: 2022-2026

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Maria Gabriella COLUCCI

Current position: Founder, President and CEO of Arterra Bioscience S.p.A., Founder and CEO of Vitalab S.r.l.

Maria Gabriella Colucci has been consolidating her knowledge in Plant Biology working as a PostDoc in Italy, Nigeria (IITA), WSU, UCSD. After the long academic experience, she was a part of Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc and started to learn how to convert science into discovery and discovery into product. This helped her in deciding to return to Italy (Napoli) and set up her own biotech company. Her USA research group followed her in this adventure.

Currently, Maria Gabriella is the Founder, President and CEO of Arterra Bioscience S.p.A., listed on the Euronext Growth Milan market of the Italian Stock Exchange since 28 October 2019. She is also the founder and CEO of Vitalab S.r.l., and author of more than 40 scientific publications and applicant of 22 patents. She is a member of several Scientific Advisory Board of private and public organizations. In 2018, she won the EU Women Innovator Prize and the Marisa Bellisario Women Value Company Award.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Head of Group Strategy & Business Development, Founder & Managing Director

Stefan is Head of Group Strategy and Business Development at Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller. He 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 and consulting, focused on helping business leverage science and technology for commercial success. Among other leadership roles, he was previously Global Head of Innovation Partnerships and Head of Innovation Portfolio Management for Nestlé Group, Director at L.E.K. Consulting, Vice President of the Board of MassChallenge Switzerland, advisor and board member for a number of start-ups.

Born in Sofia, Stefan holds a degree in economics from the University of Oxford.

Term of office: 2022-2026

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Ján Figeľ served as the first Slovak EU Commissioner (2004-9) responsible for Education, Training Culture and Youth policy. Under leadership of the EC President J.M. Barroso he was responsible for initiation and adoption of the Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. He was a Chief Negotiator in the accession process of Slovakia to the EU. In the national politics he served as Vice-President and Member of the Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In recent years Ján Figeľ was the first ever Special Envoy for Promotion Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the European Union (2016-19). As a tireless advocate of human dignity he was the key initiator of the Declaration on Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere (2018). With his personal diplomacy and institutional backing he helped to release prisoners of conscience in Pakistan, Cuba, Iran and Sudan.

Term of office: 2021-2025

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuritas

Dr. Nora Khaldi is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuritas. She has a unique interdisciplinary background in Mathematics, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology. Dr. Khaldi is disrupting the status quo of drug discovery by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to extract peptides from natural sources for the development of therapies to address a broad range of health areas. Since launching in 2014, Nuritas has grown rapidly and boasts well-known funders and support from the EU Horizon 2020 and the European Investment Bank, among others, raising over EUR 60 million to date.

Dr. Khaldi has won numerous awards and in 2017 was named Woman of the Decade in Business and Leadership at the Women Economic Forum (WEF) European Union Event. In 2019 she was inducted into the Young Global Leaders Forum. She continues to lead the Nuritas team in their goal of reaching billions of people with their lifechanging ingredients, working with global leaders such as Nestle, BASF and Pharmavite to achieve this.

Term of office: 2021-2025

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Vice-rector valorisation & development, Full professor Bio-science engineering, environmental chemistry

Silvia Lenaerts is a real innovator. She is a founder in industry as well as in academia. She wants to create impact by connecting people, growing together. As Vice-rector Valorisation & Development, she founded Antwerp Valorisation & Development (AVD) as a separate business unit within the Universiteit Antwerpen. By installing three multidisciplinary open innovation hubs that break down the silo mentality through intense collaboration between researchers, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens and policymakers, more impact can be created. An open innovation culture with respect for and recognition of each other's individual strengths, knowledge and competences is key.

In industry she founded a company on gas sensors and worked as lead assessor for management systems. She is board member in ten companies and organizations. Already in her young years, she was pioneering as she was the first chemist to do her PhD at IMEC.

Term of office: 2022-2026

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Board Member of the Austrian Industry Committee at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce

From 1996 until 2019, Paul was a Member of the European Parliament, following four years as a Member of the Upper Austria Regional Assembly and the National Parliament of Austria. Among his roles were Chair and Vice-Chair of STOA – Scientific Technology Options Assessment, Vice-Chair in committees including EPP SME Circle, European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, and the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula. He has held member and substitute member roles of several other committees. Between 2009 and 2018, he acted as the president of the Pan-European Working Group in the European Parliament of the EPP Group. Since 2010, he has been a Board Member of the Austrian Industry Committee at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to his political career, he performed executive activities at Rübig Group between 1972 and 1996, having worked in several Foundations, including Foundation of Rübig Distribution, Foundation of Uniha Water, and Probig GmbH. He studied Business administration, marketing and production engineering at the University of Linz, and obtained a Doctorate in licensing marketing at the University of Linz. He produced several publications between 1979 and 2013 with German and Austrian publishers, including Linde Verlag, Trauner Verlag and Signum Verlag. He holds numerous awards and distinctions, including the Silver Medal of Honour of the European Parliament and Gold Medal of Honour of the Upper Austrian SME-Union.

Term of office: 2020-2024

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: CEO, RTO RISE - Research Institute of Sweden

Associate professor Pia Sandvik is since 2016 the CEO of Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE). Sandvik has a doctorate degree in quality technology from Linköping University and has been in executive and leading positions in academia, industry and the public sector for over 20 years. Ms Sandvik was Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology, and CEO of a financial company in banking and insurance. In 2015-2016, Ms. Sandvik was one of four members in the Advisory Board to the Prime Minister regarding the Swedish Strategy for Smart Industry. She has a wide experience as chairman and board member in both public and private sector, currently as Chairman of the board of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, board member of ALMI who offers financing, venture capital and business development to companies and of the limited tech company Prevas. She is fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).

Term of office: 2022-2026

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: CEO and Chairwoman of Swedbank in Lithuania 

Inga Skisaker is CEO and Chairwoman of Swedbank in Lithuania. She is also a member of Supervisory Council of Swedbank Investment Management Company in Lithuania. She has 21 years’ experience as Senior Executive from different industries. Her previous roles include CEO of RIMI Lithuania, Head of Nordea Bank in the Baltic Countries. She also held senior positions in Nordea Group in the Nordics. Inga is experienced in leading cross-cultural teams across Nordic and Baltic regions. Led turnaround, change and cultural transformations of different businesses through new creating and implementing new business strategy. Experienced in M&A (deals up to 578 million euro) with pre- and post-merger integration. Has worked as NED on a listed Telecom company Telia in Lithuania, Dairy company Rokiskio Suris , and Baltic Management Institute. Inga holds BA degree in English Philology and Literature from Vilnius University. She also has MBA from Vilnius University.

Term of office: 2022-2026

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

European Commission Observer


Deputy Director-General for 'Education, Youth, Sport and Culture', European Commission

Viviane Hoffmann is Deputy Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture in the European Commission, since 2018.

From  2014 to 2018, she worked as Director in the Commission's Directorate-General for Communication.

She previously was Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship). She was also
Mrs Reding's Deputy Head of Cabinet during her mandates as European Commissioner for Information Society and Media (2004-2010) and for Education and Culture (1999-2004).

In 1997-1999, Viviane Hoffmann worked as assistant to the Director-General for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission. In 1996-1997, she was an assistant to the Secretary-General of the European Commission, after having worked in the Commission's Secretariat-General since 1988.

Viviane Hoffmann studied political science and international relations at the "Université Libre de Bruxelles".Viviane Hoffmann speaks Luxembourgish, French, German and English.

Responsibilities of the EIT Governing Board as outlined in the EIT Regulation can be consulted here.