Brussels, 14 February 2008 – The wheels of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) were set in motion this week when Jan Figel, the European Commissioner for Education and Culture, announced the composition of the committee tasked with recommending members for the EIT Governing Board.
Speaking to the European Parliament and the Council on 5 February, the Commissioner named four high-level scientists with strong private sector experience, who will now begin their work of selecting potential candidates to make up the Board of the EIT.
The members of the Identification Committee are Professor Günter Stock, Chairman, President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities; Professor Miklos Boda, Advisor to the Rector at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics; Cecilia Schelin Seidegard, chairwoman of the Royal University of Technology in Stockholm; and Professor Ronan Stéphan, director for industrial affairs and technology transfer of the French CNRS, and executive director of France Innovation Scientifique et Transfert.
The four will choose the 18 distinguished members of the future EIT Governing Board, drawn from the worlds of science, academia and business. Once approved, the Governing Board will begin its remit to steer the activities of the Institute. Its role will be to set the overall strategic priorities of the EIT, select the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) and evaluate and coordinate their work.
The Commission is hoping the appointment of the Board’s members will take place before the summer 2008, after the adoption of the EIT regulation by the Council in March 2008. The EIT could then be established in 2008 and the first KICs could be up and running in 2009. The physical location of the EIT has yet to be decided, but this is expected within 12 months after the regulation enters into force.
The EIT will have the primary objective of contributing to the development of innovation capacity in the EU, bringing together beacons of excellence in higher education, research and competitiveness (the ‘knowledge triangle’). The EIT will aim to facilitate and enhance networking and cooperation and create synergies between innovation communities in Europe.