European Commission Appoints Provost of Trinity College Dublin to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
Sep 24, 2012
The Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, was appointed by the European Commission to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union whose mission is to increase European sustainable growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of the EU.
In order to achieve its objectives the EIT has created integrated structures which link the higher education, research and business sectors to one another thereby boosting innovation and entrepreneurship. The EIT is steered by a governing body consisting of 22 Members representing a balance of leading individuals active in the education, research and business sectors. In July of this year the Provost was invited to be a member of the Governing Body of EIT, an honour he accepted subject to the approval of the Board of Trinity College which was given recently.
The Provost was one of 12 new appointments to the EIT Governing Board, and is the only Irish new appointment. All the EIT board members have a strong reputation in their respective fields and have shown a genuine interest in innovation.
Welcoming the appointment of the Provost to the EIT Governing Board, Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock said:
"I wish to congratulate Dr Prendergast on his appointment to the EIT Board, an achievement that reflects his expertise and experience, and the esteem in which he is held across Europe. EIT will play an important role in the development of Europe's innovation capacity in the years ahead and Ireland must play an active role in these developments. With its focus on creating a new generation of entrepreneurially minded graduates, EIT can create a cultural shift towards a more innovative Europe and a more entrepreneurial labour force."
The EIT Governing Board is responsible for the EIT's overall strategy and for the selection, coordination and evaluation of the 'Knowledge and Innovation Communities' (KICs), the public-private partnership innovation factories at the heart of the EIT. The KICs bring together excellent higher education institutions, research centres and businesses to address major societal challenges such as climate change and sustainable energy in an innovative way.
The EIT Governing Board will oversee the implementation of the EIT's Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA), proposed by the European Commission. This will provide the impetus for creating up to 600 start-up companies and for training 10 000 Masters' students and 10,000 PhDs in new curricula combining excellent science and a strong entrepreneurship component.
Commenting on the significance of his appointment to such a prestigious body, Provost, Dr Prendergast said: “I am deeply honoured and aim to bring my knowledge and understanding of excellence in higher education and research in making a meaningful contribution to sustainable growth.”
The additional new members appointed to the EIT Governing Board are: Founder of the architectural software company Graphisoft, Gabor Bojar, President of Microsoft Spain, María Garaña, Chairman of the Board of Novo Nordisk Foundation, Dr Ulf Johansson, Rector of the Cyprus University of Technology, Elpida Keravnou-Papailiou , Founder of Morana rtd, Dr Jana Kolar, Vice President for Research of the Academy of Finland, Prof Marja Makarow, Chairman of the Danish Council for Strategic Research, Prof Peter Olesen , President of the National Academy of Technologies of France, Bruno Revellin-Falcoz, Chairman of Techint Group, Gianfelice Rocca, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick Prof. Nigel Thrift and non-executive Director of Shell Company Jeroen Van Der Veer.
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou said: “I am delighted with the composition of the new board and I am sure that the new members will make a lasting contribution to attaining the EIT's objectives. Now, more than ever, we need talented people like them to steer the direction of innovation in Europe."