European Commission appoints top innovation leaders to guide the European Innovation Council

Technology Academy Finland’s Chair of the Board, Prof Marja Makarow has been appointed to the European Innovation Council Advisory Board. The Board will provide strategic leadership to the European Innovation Council (EIC). It will oversee the roll out of the current pilot and lead the strategy and design of the EIC under Horizon Europe.

After having worked passionately to promote frontier research, I have become deeply concerned about translation of fundamental research findings to benefits for society. Today, you could call me an “impact-activator”. Membership of the EIC Advisory Board gives fantastic opportunities to re-establish Europe as the global innovation driver”, Makarow says.

Europe needs to capitalise on its science and start-ups to compete in global markets increasingly defined by new technologies. That is why the European Commission is introducing a European Innovation Council (EIC) to turn science into new business and accelerate the scale-up of innovative companies. Currently in its pilot phase, the European Innovation Council will become a full-fledged reality from 2021 under the next EU research and innovation programme Horizon Europe with a proposed € 10 billion budget.

22 exceptional innovators

The Commission appointed 22 exceptional innovators from the worlds of entrepreneurship, venture capital, science and technology to the European Innovation Council Advisory Board.

Members of EIC Advisory Board*
Mark Ferguson, Entrepreneur, Science Foundation Ireland (Chair)
Hermann Hauser, Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners (Vice-chair)
Kerstin Bock, CEO of Openers
Jo Bury, Managing Director of Flanders Institute of Biotechnology
Dermot Diamond, Principal Investigator: INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics, Dublin City University
Laura González Estéfani, Founder and CEO at TheVentureCity
Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chair Siemens AG, Chair A P Moller Maersk A/S
Ingmar Hoerr, Founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CureVac AG
Fredrik Horstedt, Vice president of utilisation Chalmers University of Technology
Heidi Kakko, Partner of BaltCap Growth Fund
Bindi Karia, European Innovation Expert + Advisor, Connector of People and Businesses
Anita Krohn Traaseth, Former CEO Innovation Norway
Jerzy M. Langer, Physicist, Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Ana Maiques, Chief Executive Officer, Neuroelectrics
Marja Makarow, Biochemistry/molecular biology, director of Biocenter Finland
Valeria Nicolosi, Chair of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy
Carlos Oliveira, Serial Entrepreneur, Innovator, Executive President of José Neves Foundation
Bruno Sportisse, Chair and CEO at INRIA
Kinga Stanislawska, Managing Partner and Founder of Experior Venture Fund
Roberto Verganti, Innovation academic, former RISE group
Martin Villig, Co-founder of Bolt (formerly Taxify)
Yousef Yousef, CEO of LG Sonic

*official membership is subject to finalisation of internal procedures

In June 2018, the Commission proposed the most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet, Horizon Europe, with a proposed budget of €100 billion for 2021-2027. In March 2019 the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a provisional agreement on Horizon Europe. A key novelty of Horizon Europe is the establishment of a European Innovation Council with a proposed budget of €10 billion. An agreement of the European Parliament and Council on the EIC was reached as part of the Common Understanding on Horizon Europe.

A first pilot phase of the EIC was launched in October 2017, followed by a reinforced pilot in March 2019, with an overall budget of €3 billion, and the objective of funding Europe’s most exciting innovations of our most talented innovators. The new Advisory Board is part of the reinforced pilot. Members were selected following an open call for expressions of interest, which resulted in over 600 applications.

The European Innovation Council is part of a wider ecosystem that the EU is putting in place to give Europe’s many entrepreneurs every opportunity to become world leading companies. Other initiatives include a Pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme (VentureEU), the Investment Plan for Europe (EFSI), the work of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, the Capital Markets Union Action Plan to improve access to finance or the proposal for a Directive on business insolvency.

More information
EIC website

Press release: launch of the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council

Press release: pilot phase of the European Innovation Council

Press release: provisional agreement on Horizon Europe

Statement by Commissioner Moedas on the European Parliament’s vote on Horizon Europe

Factsheet on Horizon Europe

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