FORTH President N. Tavernarakis became the first Greek President of the EIT

Nektarios Tavernarakis was unanimously elected president of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology

It was announced in Brussels that the President of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) and professor of the Medical School of the University of Crete, Nektarios Tavernarakis, has been unanimously elected president of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). From July 2022, when he will assume his new tasks, he will lead the actions of the EIT. Mr. Tavernarakis has been a member of the EIT’s Management Board since 2020, following his selection by the European Commission (EU), through a highly competitive process of assessing the scientific and administrative achievements of the candidates, at a pan-European level.

According to FORTH, Nektarios Tavernarakis is the first and only Greek elected president of the EIT, having a brilliant scientific and administrative career, with substantial contribution to cutting-edge scientific research and important initiatives to promote excellence and innovation. This exceptional distinction is another recognition of the scientific quality and the high level of research carried out at FORTH and the University of Crete.

The Board of Directors is the supreme governing body of the EIT and consists of 15 members, leading academics, researchers and people of the business world, who enjoy international recognition and are distinguished for their experience in the fields of technology and innovation. Its main mission is to develop the EIT’s strategy, and to select, support and evaluate the “Knowledge and Innovation Communities“. The President of the EIT chairs the Governing Council, with the support of two other members forming the Institute’s Executive Committee. The Members of the Executive Board, elected by the Board of Directors of the EIT, are also members of the Board of Directors, which oversees the implementation of the EIT strategy.

According to FORTH’s announcement, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology is a unique initiative of the European Commission, aiming to strengthen innovation in Europe. The main priority of the Institute is the interconnection and cooperation of businesses, academics and research institutions (Knowledge Triangle) to create an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe. To this end, the EIT has created 8 “Knowledge and Innovation Communities” (KICs), each of which focuses on finding solutions to a specific global challenge. The ‘Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ relate to climate change, sustainable energy, digital technologies, healthy living and active ageing, raw materials, food for the future, smart, green urban transport and European manufacturing industry.

Today, 2 more KICs are under establishment, the first in the field of culture and arts, and the second in terms of water resources protection, shipping and marine ecosystems. Under the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme, the EIT manages more than 2,9 billion euros in resources.The EIT brings together more than 2,900 partners and enables innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their best ideas into products, services, jobs and growth. It creates educational programs that combine technical and entrepreneurial skills, provides personalized business creation and business acceleration services and research programs based on innovation, bringing new ideas and solutions to the market.

In total, to date, the EIT has created 8 Innovation Communities, more than 200 innovation hubs across Europe, supported more than 3,800 Startups, contributed to the creation of more than 13,000 new jobs, and more than 1,400 new products and services, raising 3,9 billion euros in external capital.

“I feel particularly honoured for my election to the position of President of the EIT, which is the largest and most experienced innovation network in Europe. My integration in the Board of Directors has brought me into contact with a thriving ecosystem made up of people who excel in innovation, leading students and partners working together to co-shape Europe’s future.There is no doubt that innovation plays a central role in solving some of the biggest challenges we have to face. In this unprecedented time, I wish, in turn, to contribute to the further strengthening of innovation in Europe, expanding our ecosystem and increasing our impact, working collectively guided by the prosperity and tax office of our continent.”, said Mr. Tavernarakis.

“I am thrilled that Nektarios Tavernarakis is taking on the role of the next EIT President. There is no doubt that his rich experience and commitment to Europe’s innovation ecosystem will help strengthen the EIT’s ambition to strengthen Europe’s digital and green transition.”, stated the outgoing EIT President, Gioia Ghezzi.

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