Alexander von Gabain: member of EIT governing board

Alexander von Gabain: member of EIT governing board

>> Official appointment of the EIT Governing Board: the European Institute of Innovation and Technology set for an Autumn launch in Budapest

The EIT's first Governing Board was officially appointed today following a European Commission Decision. The Board will hold its inaugural meeting in Budapest on 15 September 2008 with a view to establish the basis that will lead to the launch of the first two to three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) by the end of 2009. Welcoming the appointment, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso stated: "I am delighted with the nomination of the EIT's first Governing Board. I am convinced that the excellence of the Board's members will make it a success. The EIT is soon to become a reality. Europe needs more than ever a strong commitment to innovation and technology."

The EIT's initial Governing Board comprises 18 professionals, providing a collective balance of expertise and experience from the worlds of business, research and higher education in Europe. All have widespread reputations in their various fields and the majority have dual academic-industrial backgrounds (short biographies are included in the appendix).

The Governing Board members were chosen by an ad-hoc independent Identification Committee following a two-stage public consultation. The European Parliament and Council took cognisance of the outcome of the selection process.

Following the entry into force of the EIT Regulation in April 2008, and the choice of Budapest as the EIT headquarters in June, the first EIT Governing Board meeting on 15 September will mark the official launch of the EIT's activities.

The Board will be responsible for overall strategy-setting and for the selection, coordination and evaluation of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), the EIT's operational centres. KICs will be highly integrated partnerships pooling a critical mass of the very best European resources in business, higher education and research and other innovation stakeholders. Their mission will be to generate and promote innovation in key areas of economic and societal interest. The first two to three KICs are to be selected and launched by the end of 2009.

Once the first KICs have been established, the Governing Board will include four additional members elected from among the administrative staff, students and doctoral candidates of the EIT and KICs.

EIT Website :

Contacts :

John Macdonald: +32 2 295 52 67; Sophie Andersson : +32 2 295 02 08

EIT Governing Board: short biographies


Director, Science Department, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Professor, Science and Technology Policy, Instituto Superior Economia e Gestão

Dr Caraça obtained a D.Phil. in Nuclear Physics at the University of Oxford and the Agregação in Physics at the Lisbon Faculty of Sciences. From 1996 to 2006 he was Science Adviser to the President of the Portuguese Republic. He was a member of the Expert Group set up by the European Commission in 2005 to assess "The role of foundations and the non-profit sector in boosting R&D investment" and at present integrates the Steering Group of the European Forum on Philanthropy and Research Funding. He is also a Member of the National Science Technology and Innovation Council and a delegate to the OECD Committee for Science and Technology Policy (Vice-Chairman 2003-2005) and to the Global Science Forum. He has been a delegate to several EC Programmes and served as Chairman and as an expert on numerous EC evaluation panels.

Dr Caraça is Director of the Science Department, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian since 1983 and Professor of Science and Technology Policy, Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa since 1989.

CASTELLS Manuel, Dr.

Research Professor, Open University of Catalonia (Barcelona) and University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

Former member, Scientific Council of the European Research council (ERC)

Dr. Castells, born in Spain, was Professor of Sociology and of Planning at the University of California, Berkeley from 1979 to 2003. He was a Professor of Sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris; and Professor and Director of the Institute of Sociology of New Technologies at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. He is a Fellow of the European Academy, of the British Academy, and of the Spanish Royal Academy of Economics. He is the author of 24 books including the trilogy “The Information Age: Economy, Culture, and Society”, published in 22 languages.

Dr. Castells is currently Research Professor of Information Society at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Barcelona; Chair Professor of Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Technology and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

COLLOMB Bertrand, Dr.

Honorary Chairman, Lafarge Chairman, Institut des Hautes Etudes pour la Science et la Technologie (IHEST)

Dr. Collomb is an engineering graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and of the Ecole des Mines in Paris, has a French law degree and obtained a PhD in Management at the University of Texas. He held several positions at the French Ministry of Industry and within ministerial departments (1966-1975) and also founded and managed the Centre for research in Management at the Ecole Polytechnique. Having joined Lafarge in 1975, he occupied several positions and managed the group's North American subsidiary (1985). He was appointed Group Chairman and CEO in August 1989 and was Chairman of the Board from 2003 to 2007. As head of Lafarge, he has campaigned to promote sustainable development and the respect of the environment. He was also notably Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and a Member of the European roundtable of industrialists (ERT).

Dr. Collomb is currently honorary Chairman of Lafarge. He is also Chairman of the Institut des Hautes Etudes pour la Science et la Technologie (IHEST), Chairman of the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) and a Director of Lafarge, Total, DuPont and Atco.

COLOMBO Giovanni Adjunct Professor, Politecnico di Torino Former CTO, Telecom Italia LAB and Head of long-term research, Telecom Italia

Mr. Colombo graduated in Electrical Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino. Following a long management experience in the Telecommunications sector, he was appointed Head of Research of Telecom Italia Labs (2001-2003), Chief Technology Officer of Telecom Italia Labs (2003-2005) and finally Head of long-term research at Telecom Italia (2005-2006). For the European Commission, he was Chairman of two European R&D projects ("Rainbow" and Wineglass") between 1995-1999; Chairman of the Mobile Domain, clustering European R&D projects on mobile and wireless communication technologies and services (1997-1999) and a Member of ISTAG (IST Advisory Group), defining the European R&D policy in the ICT sector as a support to the Commission's 7th Framework-Programme (2006-2007).

Mr. Colombo is currently a Member of the European Commission's Strategic Advisory Board on Competitiveness and Innovation, a Steering Committee Member of the CVIS integrated Project, Member of the Scientific Board of the Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya and adjunct Professor at the Politecnico di Torino.


Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Global R&D, Merial Board member, European Industrial R&D Management Association (EIRMA)

Dr. De Brabander obtained her PhD in bio-organic chemistry and completed a post-doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Having joined DSM Research (Netherlands) in 1991, she occupied several positions, including R&D Manager (1995) and Global VP R&D of DSM Fine Chemicals (2001), before being appointed CEO of DSM Pharma Chemicals in 2004 and Deputy Chief Technology Officer in 2005. She was then VP R&D and Board Member at Intervet (2006-2008). She was also a Member of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) on behalf of the Netherlands (2001-2007) and obtained additional management experience through her positions on various Boards : Member of the Supervisory Board of Syncom and Chiralix, 2002-2005 ; Member of the Supervisory Board on Science and Technology to the Dutch government AWT, 2002-2005 ; Board Member of EIRMA (European Industrial R&D Management Association), 2005-2008.

Dr. De Brabander is currently based in France and The Netherlands and is Vice-President R&D and Member of Merial’s Leadership Team.


University Chancellor, Swedish National Agency for Higher Education

Dr. Flodström started his career in Palo Alto, USA, as member of research staff in Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Since 1985 he is professor in physics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. Anders Flodström has been the Secretary General of the Swedish Research Council for Engineering Sciences and President at Linköping University (LiU), Sweden. He was President of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm until July 2007 when he was appointed University Chancellor for Swedish universities. He is member of the Swedish Academy for the Engineering Sciences (IVA). He is also honorary doctor at Riga Technical University in Latvia, honorary doctor of Helsinki Technical University (TKK) and honorary professor in Dalian University of Technology in China. He is a member of the advisory board of Karlsruhe Technical Institute (KIT) and the Chairman of CLUSTER, a European network of technical universities. He has also been guest researcher at HASYLAB/DESY in Hamburg, Germany as well as in National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in Gaithersburg, USA.

Professor Flodström is currently University Chancellor at the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education.


Founder and Managing Partner, EMF (Enterprise Management & Finance) Consultancy Professor/Researcher, Warsaw University of Technology Business School

Dr. Gołębiowska-Tataj obtained her PhD at the Polish Academy of Sciences, followed by an MBA at the Warsaw University of Technology Business School. She worked as a consultant in an investment banking firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions in media and telecoms before becoming a Director at Copernicus Capital Management, a venture capital fund. Later, within her consulting firm, she led projects under the EU/EBRD SME Finance Facility in the banking sector. In 2004, she co-founded the DIADEM Foundation - an incubator for the Polish Professional Women's Network and the Vital Voices Poland Chapter. In 2006 she was a fellow under the US Department of State/FORTUNE Mentorship Program for Emerging Global Women Business Leaders.

Dr. Gołębiowska-Tataj is currently a Managing Partner at EMF (Enterprise Management & Finance) and Assistant Professor of management and block coordinator at the Warsaw University of Technology Business School, teaching Organisational Behaviour, Leadership and Change Management.

HERRMANN Wolfgang, Dr.

President, Technische Universität München

Dr. Herrmann obtained his PhD in Chemistry at the Universität Regensburg, where he became a Professor (Institute of Inorganic Chemistry) in 1979 following a career as a researcher. He was made Chair Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Universität Frankfurt/Main (1982) and Chair Professor at the Technische Universität München (1985). He became President of the Technische Universität München in 1995 and was re-elected in 1999, 2005 and 2007. He was Chairman of the Bavarian University Rectors Conference (2002-2004) and Chairman of "Universität Bayern e.V" (2004-2005). He is a Member of the Editorial Board of numerous scientific journals and editor of the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry since 1994. He is also a Member of the Supervisory Board of the E.ON Energie AG and member of the Supervisory Board of Evonik Industries AG.

Dr. Herrmann is currently President of the Technische Universität München and a Member of the International Advisory Council, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. He belongs to the top-100 group of the worldwide most-cited chemists and holds numerous Honorary PhD´s from Europe, USA, Russia and China.

KING Julia Elizabeth Vice-Chancellor, Aston University Professor, Materials Engineering Former Director of Engineering, Marine Business, Rolls-Royce plc

Pr. King obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge. She started her academic career At Cambridge University with appointments including Rolls-Royce Research Fellow, (1978-1980) and University Lecturer (1992-1994). In 1994 she was appointed Head of Materials, Rolls-Royce Aerospace Group and went on to hold a number of senior positions at Rolls-Royce including Director of Engineering & Technology, Marine (2000-2002). She served on the EU Aeronautics Expert Advisory Group (2000-2002), and on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, EPSRC (2000-2003). She was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1997, serving as a Council member and Honorary Secretary for Education and Training from 2002-2006. She was Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics (2002-2004) before becoming Principal of the Engineering Faculty of Imperial College London (2004-2006).

Pr. King is currently Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, Birmingham, UK. She is a member of the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board and as a non-Executive Director of .the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills. In 2007 she was appointed by the UK Government to lead an independent review into ‘decarbonising’ road transport.

LOKTU Morten Senior vice president, R&D, StatoilHydro ASA

Mr. Loktu obtained a Master of Science in Physics and Economics at the University of Trondheim, Norway. Having worked as an advisor to Saga Petroleum (1984-1985), he joined Statoil ASA as a Senior Engineer (1985-1989) and, after a brief spell at Servi Hydrualikk A/S as Controller and Vice-President of manufacturing (1990-1991), returned to Statoil (1991-2002) where he held numerous positions : Senior Engineer (1991-1992), Manager of Research and Development (1992-1996 and 1998-1999), Vice President and Research and Development (1999) and finally Executive Vice President of Technology (1999-2002). After having been made CEO of the SINTEF group in 2002, he once again integrated Statoil ASA as Executive Vice-President of Technology and projects (2004-2005) and then Senior Vice President, Research and Commercialisation (2005-2007).

Mr. Loktu is currently Senior Vice President, Research and Development at StatoilHydro ASA, Chairman of the OG21 Board (responsible for the national oil and gas technology strategy) and a Member of the Board, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

MAEX Karen, Dr.

Vice-rector of Science, Engineering and Technology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

Full Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, K.U.Leuven

Dr. Maex obtained her PhD in Electrical Engineering at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Having started her academic career as a Research Assistant (1982-1987) she became Research Director (1987), Assistant Professor at K.U. Leuven (1989), then Professor (1998) and finally Full Professor (2003). Between 2002-2005 she was a Member of K.U. Leuven's Research Council and Founder-Coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Programme on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. In 2005 she was appointed Vice-Rector for Science, Engineering and Technology at K.U. Leuven. Meanwhile at IMEC (Interuniversity Microelectronics Center), of which she is a fellow since 2001, she was Strategic Research Adviser for the Division on Semiconductor Process and Device Technology (2001-2005) and Programme Director of the IMEC Industrial Affiliate Programme (IIAP) on Nanotechnology (2004-2005).

Dr. Maex is currently Vice-Rector for Science, Engineering and Technology and a full Professor at K.U. Leuven, where she is also responsible for human resources and diversity policy.

MAGYAR Bálint, Dr.

Former Secretary of State for Development Former Minister of Education Member, Hungarian Parliament

Dr. Magyar obtained his degree in History and Sociology at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest and became a University Doctor there in 1980. Having started his career as a researcher (1977-1990). He became a member of the Hungarian Parliament in 1990 and served on several parliamentary committees. Appointed Minister of Education and Culture (1996-1998, re-appointed Minister of Education, 2002-2006), he initiated the higher education reform process, modernising the management and business structure of higher education institutions. He developed and passed the Act on Innovation (2003), set up an Innovation Fund (2004) and founded the National Office for Research and Technology (2004). He was Vice President of the National Development Council under the direction of the Prime Minister (2006-2008) and Secretary of State for Development Policy (2007-2008), where he contributed to the reform for the development of R&D activities in higher education and gave support to innovative research teams and technology transfer.

Dr. Magyar is currently Vice President of the Ad-hoc Committee for the Supervision of the Execution of European Union Programmes, Hungarian Parliament.

MÖLLER Erna, Dr Executive Director, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation Emeritus Professor, Karolinska Institutet Chairman, Nobel Assembly (2007)

Dr. Möller obtained her MD and her PhD at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. A researcher for many years, she was successively appointed Lecturer in immunology (1975-1982), Professor in transplantation immunology (1983-1987) and Professor in clinical immunology (1987-2007) at the Karolinska Institutet. She was Physician in charge of the university hospital’s laboratory for clinical immunology. From the 1990s she gained experience in the pharmaceutical sector as the Director of Astra, Sweden (1995-1999) and Director of AstraZeneca PLC, Great Britain (1999-2007). She is a former Chairman of several Boards and Committees. She was elected member of the Nobel assembly in 1987, was a Member of the Nobel Committee of the Assembly (medicine) (2003-2005) before being made Vice-Chairman (2006) and then Chairman (2007) of the Nobel Assembly.

Since 2001, Dr. Möller is the Executive Director of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Sweden.

NEUVO Yrjö, Dr.

Professor, Research director, Helsinki University of Technology Former Chairman, ARTEMIS Joint Technology Platform Former CTO, Nokia

Dr. Neuvo obtained his PhD degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Between 1976-1992 he was Professor of electrical engineering at the Tampere University of Technology and between 1984-1993 was a National Research Professor of the Academy of Finland. In 1993 he joined the Nokia Group as Senior Vice President of Technology, before being made Senior Vice President, Product Creation (1994) and then Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (1999). He was Member of the Nokia Group Executive Board between 1993-2005. He has been the Chairman or Member of numerous Boards and working groups internationally and was notably the Chairman of the ARTEMIS Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) Governing Board and President of Artemisia until 2008.

Dr. Neuvo is currently Professor and Research Director at the Helsinki University of Technology and Member of the Board of two listed companies, Metso and Vaisala.

SCHUURMANS Martin, Prof. Dr.

Former Executive Vice President, Philips Research / Philips Medical systems (PMS)

Dr. Schuurmans (PhD TU/e, 1971) was professor of Solid State Physics at TU/Delft between 1985-1991. In 1968, he joined Philips to later become the head of experimental and theoretical physics in the Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, Netherlands. From 1991-1994 he headed the solid state research at Philips Laboratories in Briarcliff, NY, USA. In 1995 he was appointed Chairman of the Philips Research Laboratory, Eindhoven and Vice-Chairman of Philips Research world-wide. He was involved in the early preparations for the High Tech Campus of Eindhoven promoting open innovation. From 2000-2002 he was CEO of the global Philips Industrial Technology Centre, with offices worldwide and from 2002 he was responsible for Innovation and Industry at Philips Medical Systems PMS (Boston, USA) until retiring from Philips in 2005. In 2002-2005 he was also a part-time professor of Innovation Management at TU/e. In 2005 he co-founded the Sino-Dutch Biomedical School of Information Engineering (BMIE) in Shenyang, China ; in 2006/7 he lived in China and was BMIE’s dean.

Mr. Schuurmans is currently a.o. Chairman of the International Advisory Board to BMIE.


Head of AutoUni, Volkswagen AG

Dr. Tropschuh obtained his PhD in Engineering at the Munich Technical University, where he was also assistant lecturer (1983-1988). During this time, he simultaneously carried out freelance work in engineering and design offices across Germany. In 1988 he joined Audi, where his appointments have included Senior Supervisor of Interior Engineering and Body Testing, Head of Vehicle Concepts, Head of Development Management, and Head of the Site and Research Projects division. He has also been General Secretary of Audi AG. Since 2006, Dr. Tropschuh has been the Head of AutoUni at Volkswagen.

Dr. Tropschuh is a lecturer at the Munich Technical University and among other memberships and honorary appointments, he is Honorary Senator of Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and Member of the advisory board of Automotive Cluster Bavaria (Automobil Cluster Bayern).

VIIK Linnar Director, Skype Technologies Ltd Associate Professor and Member of the Board, Estonian Information Technology College

Mr. Viik obtained an M.Sc. (Information Technology and Informatics) at the Tallinn Technical University and an M.Sc./Postgraduate diploma (International Economy) at the Helsinki University of Technology. Having worked as a management consultant at KPMG (Estonia and London) between 1993-1995 he became Chairman of the Board of the IT company Meediamaa Ltd. (1995-1998) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Netexpress Ltd. (1998-1999) before becoming Member of the Board of Directors and Head of the Multimedia Department of Levicom Ltd. He was also an advisor to the Prime Minister of Estonia (1999-2001). In 2001 he co-founded Mobi Solutions Ltd. and was Member of the Board there until 2007. In 2004 he founded Keelevara Ltd., of which he is still Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

Mr. Viik is currently Director of Skype Access at Skype Technologies Ltd. and since 2000 has been lecturing at the Estonian IT College, where he was made Member of the Board in 2003.

VON GABAIN Alexander Ullrich, Dr.

Co-founder, CSO and Member of the Management Board, Intercell AG

Professor of Microbiology, Max Perutz Laboratories, Vienna Foreign adjunct professor, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm

Dr. Von Gabain obtained his PhD in Genetics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and a Postdoctorate at the Stanford University, USA. In the 1980s and 1990s he was a Professor at the University of Umeå and at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden and advisor to two Swedish pharmaceutical companies, KabiGen AB (1983-1987) and Kabi Vitrum (1988-1993). Between 1992-1998 he was Chair of Microbiology at the University of Vienna at the Vienna Biocenter Campus, Austria. In 1998 he co-founded the biotech company Intercell AG, Austria and served as CEO there until 2005. He is a member of several professional organizations and serves on the Supervisory Boards of biotech enterprises.

Alexander Ullrich Von Gabain is Chief Scientific Officer and Member of the Management Board of Intercell AG since 2005 and Professor of microbiology, Max Perutz Laboratories, Vienna Biocenter, Austria since 2007. He is also Foreign adjunct professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.


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