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Research and innovation
News article30 March 2023BrusselsDirectorate-General for Research and Innovation

Commission appoints Michiel Scheffer as President of the Board of the European Innovation Council

Yesterday, the Commission has announced the appointment of Michiel Scheffer as the President of the Board of the European Innovation Council (EIC). The EIC was established under the Horizon Europe programme and has a budget of over €10 billion, to identify and scale up breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovation. Michiel Scheffer, a Dutch national with over 20 years of professional experience in the innovation field, will bring his extensive network and expertise to the position. He has worked in business, academia, and public policy and is the founder and CEO of Polisema BV, which provides advice and investment to start-ups. The starting date of Michiel Scheffer's appointment is still to be determined.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Michiel Scheffer as the President of the EIC Board. With his vast experience in the innovation sector, I am confident he will be a great asset to the EIC. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the current President, Mark Ferguson, for his excellent work and dedication to the EIC. His contributions have been invaluable, and we appreciate his commitment to establish the EIC as the European Union’s Unicorn factory.”.

Since 2000, Michiel Scheffer is the Founder and CEO of Polisema BV, which worked as adviser and investor for start-ups in various fields including ICT, technical textiles, medical textiles, medical devices, energy storage, and biorefinery. He was also the Founder and CEO of Noéton Policy in Innovation BV from 2000 until 2015, which offered consulting services to firms in innovation management, program management, and public affairs. During this time, he managed multiple EU Funded Projects and was elected regional party leader three times. As the regional Minister of Gelderland, he was nominated for the best regional politician in the Netherlands in 2018. He collaborated with over 20 universities and more than 200 partners across the EU in large R&D Projects. Furthermore, he authored over 100 publications, which include scientific articles, edited books, and newspaper opinions. He also completed his PhD dissertation at Utrecht University, which focused on 'Trading Places, fashion, retailers, and the changing geography of clothing production,' examining the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the UK.


The EIC Board is established by the Horizon Europe legislation with a mandate to advise on: overall strategy for the EIC; the EIC work programme for implementation; identification of strategic portfolios of projects and the profile of EIC Programme Managers and other actions to improve the European innovation ecosystem. The members of the Board, including a President, are selected following an open call for expressions of interest.

More information

European Innovation Council


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EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation


Publication date
30 March 2023
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation