The European Commission announced first members of the new European Innovation Council Board.
Under the Horizon Europe legislation, this Board has a powerful role to guide the implementation of the EIC as Europe’s flagship innovation programme with a budget of EUR 10 billion, supporting game-changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early stage research to the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs. In particular, the Board will advise on the EIC strategy, work programme and thematic portfolios in order to maximise the impact of the EIC and may also advise on broader innovation policy matters.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Research, Innovation, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
I welcome the appointment of 20 innovators to the new EIC Board. I am looking forward to meeting with them at the EIC Summit next week and to working together on Europe’s most ambitious innovation programme.
Members of the Board act in a personal capacity and are appointed for a two-year term of office, renewable twice (with the aim of rotating approximately one third of the members every two years). The new EIC Board will take over from the previous EIC pilot Advisory Board that helped steer the initial strategy and implementation of the EIC.
The EIC Board is planning its first meeting on 26 November, immediately following the EIC Summit that will take place on 24 and 25 November in Brussels.
The European Commission has just also published the vacancy for the EIC Board President and is inviting outstanding innovation leaders to apply by 17 December. The role of the President is a full time post to provide leadership to the EIC and chair the new Board.
Following the open call for expressions of interest, the European Commission received 432 applications by 30 June deadline. All applications were assessed against the criteria set out in the call and the final selection of the 20 members (the Horizon Europe legislation foresees that the EIC Board has between 15 and 20 members) ensures a strong diversity and balance in particular considering:
- Gender: the new Board has a 50:50 balance between women and men;
- Geography: the new Board includes individuals with 18 nationalities, including 8 coming from Horizon Europe widening countries;
- Age: including relatively young members (below 35) and more experienced (over 65);
- Profiles: covering leading researchers, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, ecosystem builders and innovation experts; including thematic expertise in key areas for Europe’s future innovations, including digital, health and the green transition.
The Board also has some continuity with the previous EIC pilot Advisory Board which was an informal group that advised on the pilot phase of the EIC, with seven members continuing from the EIC pilot Advisory Board.