Meet the Governing Board

This page presents the current members of the EIT Governing Board. It lists each member’s biography, as well as their declaration of interests and confidentiality undertaking. In the case of newly appointed Governing Board members, such declarations of interest or confidentiality undertakings have not yet been prepared, and will be added at the earliest opportunity.

Chair of the EIT Governing Board


Current position: Chair of Group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

Born in Italy, Gioia obtained a degree in theoretical physics from the University of Milan and later an MBA at London Business School. She is Member of the EIT Governing Board and Executive Committee and also holds a number of non-executive and institutional roles, including Chair of the RGI Group (Corsair Capital), Board Member and Chair of the Nomination Committee of Atlantia (Edizione Holding), Member of the Scientific Committee of Confindustria (IT), Vice-President Smart City & Sustainability of Assolombarda (IT). She was previously Chair of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group in Rome between 2014 and 2018.

She brings extensive experience and her career includes roles such as CEO of International Group Risk Solutions for the Zurich Insurance Group in 2013 to 2016; Chief Operating Officer for Willis Group in 2012 to 2013; over 11 years with McKinsey & Company as Partner in their London office as well as various positions at Academic Press in London and IBM Research in Rome and Milan.

Term of office: 2020-2022 (Chair) and 2018-2020 (Member of the EIT Governing Board)

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans


Current position: Advisor to the director of Jožef Stefan Institute

Dr Romana Jordan is the advisor to the director of Jožef Stefan Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Currently, she is chair of the Administrative Board of Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators; member of the Management Board of the Financial Fund for Decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Plant Krško and member of the Steering Committee at the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia. She worked for 14 years as a researcher at the Reactor Engineering Division of the Jožef Stefan Institute.

For 10 years, she served as a Member of the European Parliament holding various positions and responsibilities. She was vice-chair of the Committee on Development; EPP coordinator in the Temporary Committee on Climate Change and deputy EPP coordinator in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. She was also vice-president of the European Energy Forum and member of the Editorial Board of the Parliament Magazine. In 2007, she received the MEP of the Year Award in the field of energy.

Term of office: 2018-2022

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans


Current position: CEO, Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park

Laima Kauspadiene is an entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystem, knowledge and technology transfer expert. In 2000, she obtained a degree in electronics and automation, and later an MBA in industrial engineering and management.

For eight years she served as the head of the Business Science Cooperation Division in the Ministry of Economy, where she was responsible for knowledge-driven innovation ecosystem creation, entrepreneurship, tech transfer policies, and clusterisation. Earlier, she obtained experience in nourishing the investment environment at regional level, and in the marketing and branding of cities and regions. Currently, she is the CEO of Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park, one of the main actors in the biggest knowledge triangle in the Baltic region.

During her professional career she has been appointed to the boards of R&D and innovation at national level, and often serves as a board or jury member on project evaluation committees, steering committees and start-up pitch battles.

Term of office: 2018 -2022

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans

Martina LARKIN

Current position: Head of Europe and Eurasia at the World Economic Forum

Martina N. Larkin is a Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Europe and Eurasia of the World Economic Forum. Previously, she headed the Forum’s Global Knowledge Networks, a think tank of over 1 600 global experts across multi-disciplinary fields, the world’s leading universities, think tanks and other research-based organisations. She was also the editor of 'Outlook on the Global Agenda'. Before leading the Global Knowledge Networks, she oversaw the development of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a Foundation dedicated to fostering global leadership among talented young people. Prior to joining the World Economic Forum, she was Associate Vice-President with Lazar & Company, a New York-based investment bank, and she has held positions in marketing and sales at Nestlé Switzerland.

Mrs Larkin holds an MBA and a BS in Finance and was awarded the prestigious Yale World Fellowship from Yale University in 2011 as the first Swiss person to be awarded this honor. She is a member of several non profit Boards, including the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Deusto University in Spain, Circulo de Empresarios in Spain, and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: President of the Board of Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle

Ms Plagneux graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle de Paris. Thanks to her diverse experience, she is recognised for her participation in what is known as the knowledge triangle: business, education and research.

She served as Member of Airbus R&T direction (Vice-President) and CEO of Voltair, subsidiary of Airbus Group in charge of the development of an electric aircraft. She served as President of the competitiveness cluster AEROSPACE VALLEY from 2011 to 2017 representing Airbus Group.

She has been President of the Board of INPI ( Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle) since 2013; Member of the Board of CNRS (Centre National de la Recheche Scientifique) since 2013 and Member of the Board of INRIA (Institut National de la Recherche en Informatique et Automatique) since 2015.

She was previously Deputy General Manager in charge of economic development, research and technology transfer at Aquitaine Regional Council; Managing Director and co-founder of Serma Technologies, an SME born from the spin-off of IBM laboratory for qualification of components; Manufacturing Engineering Manager in the IBM electronics factory in Corbeil Essonnes, then in the purchasing department in charge of the qualification of electronic component suppliers.

Term of office: 2018-2022

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans


Current position: Board Member of the Austrian Industry Committee at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce

From 1996 until 2019, Paul was a Member of the European Parliament, following four years as a Member of the Upper Austria Regional Assembly and the National Parliament of Austria. Among his roles were Chair and Vice-Chair of STOA – Scientific Technology Options Assessment, Vice-Chair in committees including EPP SME Circle, European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, and the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula. He has held member and substitute member roles of several other committees. Between 2009 and 2018, he acted as the president of the Pan-European Working Group in the European Parliament of the EPP Group. Since 2010, he has been a Board Member of the Austrian Industry Committee at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to his political career, he performed executive activities at Rübig Group between 1972 and 1996, having worked in several Foundations, including Foundation of Rübig Distribution, Foundation of Uniha Water, and Probig GmbH. He studied Business administration, marketing and production engineering at the University of Linz, and obtained a Doctorate in licensing marketing at the University of Linz. He produced several publications between 1979 and 2013 with German and Austrian publishers, including Linde Verlag, Trauner Verlag and Signum Verlag. He holds numerous awards and distinctions, including the Silver Medal of Honour of the European Parliament and Gold Medal of Honour of the Upper Austrian SME-Union.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: Professor, Medical School, University of Crete and Chairman of the Board of Directors, FORTH

Nektarios Tavernarakis is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), and Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, in Heraklion, Greece. He is the Director of the Graduate Programme on BioInformatics at the Medical School of the University of Crete, and heads the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory of IMBB. He is an elected corresponding member of the Academy of Athens, and an elected member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and Academia Europaea.

He gained his PhD at the University of Crete, and trained as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death and neurodegeneration, the interplay between cellular metabolism and ageing, the mechanisms of sensory transduction and integration by the nervous system, and the development of novel genetic tools for biomedical research. For his scientific accomplishments, he has received several notable scientific prizes and received a number of awards, including two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants, and an innovation-supporting ERC Proof of Concept Grant. He is one of the first in Europe, and the first in Greece, to have been awarded this highly competitive and prestigious grant twice.

For more information, click here.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Attila VEGH

Current position: Chairman of the Board, Medinet, UK

Attila has over 20 years of leadership experience as CEO and Chairman at Europe’s largest healthcare and investment organisations. His executive career includes Group CEO of Capio AB, one of Europe’s largest hospital chains with 250+ hospitals and clinics in five countries. He was Group CEO of Penta Hospitals International, Europe’s fastest-growing multi-national hospital group. He was also CEO of leading university teaching hospitals and academic medical centres in London, Cambridge and Manchester. In addition, he was Executive Partner at Fidelity International’s Eight Roads, a leading investment firm in London.

Prior to his executive career, he worked in McKinsey’s healthcare practice, transforming blue-chip global companies in over 15 countries. He is a trained clinician with experience as a doctor and academic researcher, holding a PhD in Molecular Cancer Research from Sorbonne University (Paris), an MSc in Health Management from Imperial College (London), and trained as a Medical Doctor at Humboldt University (Berlin), the University of New York and Semmelweis University (Budapest).

Currently, Attila is leading the Boards of several Private Equity owned multi-national digital and healthcare companies as Chairman/Director of the Board. In addition, he advises large capital private equity funds across Europe.

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence


Current position: EU Special Envoy at European Commission

Ján Figeľ served as the first Slovak EU Commissioner (2004-9) responsible for Education, Training Culture and Youth policy. Under leadership of the EC President J.M. Barroso he was responsible for initiation and adoption of the Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. He was a Chief Negotiator in the accession process of Slovakia to the EU. In the national politics he served as Vice-President and Member of the Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In recent years Ján Figeľ was the first ever Special Envoy for Promotion Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the European Union (2016-19). As a tireless advocate of human dignity he was the key initiator of the Declaration on Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere (2018). With his personal diplomacy and institutional backing he helped to release prisoners of conscience in Pakistan, Cuba, Iran and Sudan.

Term of office: 2021-2025


Current position:  Director of Riga Business School at Riga Technical University

Janis Grevins is an academic executive with a strong focus on institutional development, technology implementation and business linkages. He has been the Director of Riga Business School at Riga Technical University since April 2003. He also serves as the independent member on the Supervisory Board of Tet Ltd., Latvia. Between 1998 and 2003 he studied for his MBA and PhD degrees, and worked as a project coordinator at the School of Management of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA. His research was devoted to the analysis of the effects of modern communications on project management performance.

The strong academic training combined with broad international management experience has allowed Mr. Grevins to provide leadership for international institutional development initiatives and implementations for several national strategy projects linked to technology adoption.

Term of office: 2021-2025


Current position: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuritas

Dr. Nora Khaldi is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuritas. She has a unique interdisciplinary background in Mathematics, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology. Dr. Khaldi is disrupting the status quo of drug discovery by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to extract peptides from natural sources for the development of therapies to address a broad range of health areas. Since launching in 2014, Nuritas has grown rapidly and boasts well-known funders and support from the EU Horizon 2020 and the European Investment Bank, among others, raising over EUR 60 million to date.

Dr. Khaldi has won numerous awards and in 2017 was named Woman of the Decade in Business and Leadership at the Women Economic Forum (WEF) European Union Event. In 2019 she was inducted into the Young Global Leaders Forum. She continues to lead the Nuritas team in their goal of reaching billions of people with their lifechanging ingredients, working with global leaders such as Nestle, BASF and Pharmavite to achieve this.

Term of office: 2021-2025


Current position: Partner, Energy & Resources Industry leader at Deloitte

Razvan Nicolescu previously served as the Romanian Minister of Energy. He is currently a partner of Deloitte responsible for energy and climate change practice and is an associate professor of the Romanian Academy for the Economic Studies. He began his professional career as an energy researcher with a strong academic background. He is a reputable European expert on energy and climate change issues, having significant experience in bringing innovation, the academic community and business leaders to effectively work together.

He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Polytechnical University of Bucharest and a MBA degree from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. In addition, he has graduated from executive programmes at Stanford Business School and he is currently doing a PhD in the field of climate change.

Term of office: 2021-2025

European Commission Observer


Deputy Director-General for 'Education, Youth, Sport and Culture', European Commission

Viviane Hoffmann is Deputy Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture in the European Commission, since 2018.

From  2014 to 2018, she worked as Director in the Commission's Directorate-General for Communication.

She previously was Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship). She was also
Mrs Reding's Deputy Head of Cabinet during her mandates as European Commissioner for Information Society and Media (2004-2010) and for Education and Culture (1999-2004).

In 1997-1999, Viviane Hoffmann worked as assistant to the Director-General for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission. In 1996-1997, she was an assistant to the Secretary-General of the European Commission, after having worked in the Commission's Secretariat-General since 1988.

Viviane Hoffmann studied political science and international relations at the "Université Libre de Bruxelles".Viviane Hoffmann speaks Luxembourgish, French, German and English.