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Document C2021/432A/01

Directorate-General Research and Innovation – Publication of a vacancy for the function of Principal Adviser – President of the Board of the European Innovation Council (Temporary Agent – Grade AD 14) – COM/2021/10408


OJ C 432A , 26.10.2021, p. 1–5 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

CA 432/1

Directorate-General Research and Innovation

Publication of a vacancy for the function of Principal Adviser – President of the Board of the European Innovation Council

(Temporary Agent – Grade AD 14)


(2021/C 432 A/01)


We are

The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) is responsible for developing and implementing the European Research and Innovation policy with a view to achieving the goals of Europe 2030 and the Innovation Union. DG RTD supports research and innovation through European framework programmes, coordinates and supports national and regional research and innovation programmes, contributes to the creation of the European Research Area and supports European organisations and researchers in their cooperation at international level.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has recently been established under the Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027) with a budget of over EUR 10 billion to identify, promote and scale up breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovation. The EIC represents a major new element of EU innovation funding, and builds on the successful pilot phase (2018-2020) during which over 6 000 startups and SMEs and over 300 leading research projects were supported, a dedicated EIC Fund was established to implement equity investments, and a first set of EIC Programme Managers were recruited to provide high level domain- specific expertise in strategic areas of health, medtech, energy and environment.

The overall strategy and implementation of the EIC is guided by a High Level Board (the ‘EIC Board’) with a membership of independent personalities drawn from the European innovation ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors, public administration experts and researchers. The EIC Board advises the Commission on the overall strategy for the EIC, the work programme for implementation, the identification of strategic portfolios of projects, the profile of EIC Programme Managers, and a number of other matters which may include recommendations on broader innovation policy and regulatory barriers facing innovators. The independent members of the Board are expected to be appointed by the Commission in the next 2 months following an open call for expressions of interest published on 27 May 2021 (1).

We propose

In accordance with the legislative provisions, the EIC Board shall have a President who shall be appointed by the Commission following a transparent recruitment process. The President shall be a high profile public figure linked to the innovation world, with a solid understanding of R & D. The President shall be appointed for a term of office limited to 4 years, renewable once.

The EIC Board President’s role is to:

Chair the EIC Board, prepare its meetings, assign tasks to members, and establish as needed dedicated sub-groups, in particular to identify emerging technology trends from EIC’s portfolio;

promote the EIC and represent the EIC in the world of innovation;

act as interlocutor with the Commission and Member States.

The EIC Board President and EIC Board will be supported by the ‘The European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency’ which is also responsible for the implementation of EIC activities and funding. The post of the President of the EIC Board will be attached to the Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. The EIC is expected to develop effective complementarities with the European Research Council, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and the InvestEU programme, as well as with national, regional and private sector initiatives.

We look for (selection criteria)

The ideal candidate will be an outstanding and dynamic professional who should fulfil the following selection criteria:

(a)   Advisory skills

Excellent connections and networks in the world of research and innovation (R & I) (including entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, R & I ecosystem actors and experts);

Proven influencing skills at the highest levels of research, innovation and investment policies;

Outstanding oral and written communication skills in order to ensure excellent communication with international stakeholders.

(b)   Specialist skills and experience

A solid and highly recognised professional experience of more than 20 years in the field of innovation (including on breakthrough technologies, disruptive innovations, startups and scaleups, impact investment);

A strong understanding of R & I, including trends in emerging technologies, public policies to support research and innovation, and perspectives of investors and industry;

Experience speaking and presenting at high level conferences, roundtables and policy events.

(c)   Personal qualities

Decision-making ability and leadership skills;

Strong planning, organisation and problem-solving skills;

Strong sense of responsibility;

Excellent sense of diplomacy, discretion and confidentiality.

Candidates must (eligibility requirements)

Candidates will only be considered for the selection phase on the basis of the following formal requirements to be fulfilled by the deadline for applications:

Nationality: candidates must be a citizen of one of the Member States of the European Union.

University degree or diploma: candidates must have:

either a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma when the normal period of university education is 4 years or more;

or a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least 1 year when the normal period of university education is at least 3 years (this 1 year’s professional experience cannot be included in the postgraduate professional experience required below).

Professional experience: candidates must have at least 15 years postgraduate professional experience (2) at a level to which the qualifications referred to above give admission. At least 5 years of that professional experience must be in a field relevant for this position.

Advisory experience: at least 5 years of the post-graduate professional experience must have been gained in a high–level advisory function (3).

Languages: candidates must have a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the European Union (4) and a satisfactory knowledge of another of these official languages. Selection panels will verify during the interview(s) whether candidates comply with the requirement of a satisfactory knowledge of another official EU language. This may include (part of) the interview being conducted in this other language.

Age limit: candidates must be able to complete, at the deadline for application, the full mandate of 4 years before reaching the retirement age. For temporary staff of the European Union, the retirement age is defined as being the end of the month in which the person reaches the age of 66 years (see Article 47 of the Conditions of Employment of other Servants of the European Union (5)).

Selection and appointment

The European Commission will select and appoint the President of the EIC Board according to its selection and recruitment procedures (see: Document on Senior Officials Policy (6)).

As part of this selection procedure, the European Commission sets up a pre-selection panel. This panel analyses all applications, proceeds with a first eligibility verification and identifies candidates having the best profile in view of the selection criteria mentioned above, and who may be invited for an interview with the pre-selection panel.

Following these interviews, the pre-selection panel draws up its conclusions and proposes a list of candidates for further interviews with the European Commission’s Consultative Committee on Appointments (CCA). The CCA, taking into consideration the conclusions of the pre-selection panel, will decide on the candidates to be invited for an interview.

Candidates who are called for an interview with the CCA participate in a full-day management assessment centre run by external recruitment consultants. Taking account of the results of the interview and the report of the assessment centre, the CCA establishes a shortlist of candidates it considers suitable to exercise the function.

Candidates on the CCA shortlist will be interviewed by the Member of the Commission responsible for research and innovation (7).

Following these interviews, the European Commission takes the appointment decision.

The selected candidate must have fulfilled any obligations imposed by law concerning military service, produce appropriate character references as to their suitability for the performance of their duties and be physically fit to perform their duties.

The selected candidate should hold, or be in the position to obtain, a valid security clearance certificate from his/her national security authority. A personal security clearance is an administrative decision following completion of a security screening conducted by the individual’s competent national security authority in accordance with applicable national security laws and regulations, and certifying that an individual may be allowed to access classified information up to a specified level. (Note that the necessary procedure for obtaining a security clearance can be initiated on request of the employer only, and not by the individual candidate).

Until the personal security clearance has been granted by the Member State concerned and the clearance procedure completed with the legally required briefing from the European Commission’s Security Directorate, the candidate will not be able to access EU Classified Information (EUCI) at the level of CONFIDENTIEL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL or above, nor attend any meetings at which such EUCI is discussed.

Equal opportunities

In accordance with Article 1d of the Staff Regulations (8), the European Commission pursues a strategic objective of achieving gender equality at all management levels by the end of its current mandate and applies an equal opportunities policy encouraging applications that could contribute towards more diversity, gender equality and overall geographical balance.

Conditions of employment

The salaries and conditions of employment are laid down in the Staff Regulations (9).

The successful candidate will be engaged by the European Commission as a temporary agent at grade AD 14. He/she will be classified depending on the length of his/her previous professional experience in step 1 or step 2 within that grade.

She/he will be appointed for an initial mandate of 4 years, with a possible prolongation for a maximum 4 years according to Regulation establishing the Board of the European Innovation Council as applicable at the time of appointment.

Applicants should note the requirement under the Staff Regulations for all new staff to complete successfully a 9-month probationary period.

The place of employment is Brussels, Belgium, where the EIC Board is based.

The post is available from 16 October 2021.

Independence and declaration of interests

Before taking up his/her duties, the President of the EIC Board will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the public interest and to declare any interests, which might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence.

Application procedure

Before submitting your application, you should carefully check whether you meet all eligibility requirements (‘Candidates must’), particularly concerning the types of diploma, high-level professional experience as well as linguistic capacity required. Failure to meet any of the eligibility requirements means an automatic exclusion from the selection procedure.

If you want to apply, you must register via the internet on the following website and follow the instructions concerning the various stages of the procedure:

You must have a valid email address. This will be used to confirm your registration as well as to remain in contact with you during the different stages of the procedure. Therefore, please keep the European Commission informed about any change in your email address.

To complete your application, you need to upload a CV in PDF format, preferably using the Europass CV format (10), and to fill out, online, a letter of motivation (maximum 8 000 characters). Your CV and your letter of motivation may be submitted in any of the official languages of the European Union.

Once you have finished your online registration, you will receive an electronic mail confirming that your application has been registered. If you do not receive a confirmation mail, your application has not been registered!

Please note that it is not possible to monitor the progress of your application on-line. You will be contacted directly by the European Commission regarding the status of your application.

If you require more information and/or encounter technical problems, please send an email to:

Closing date

The closing date for registration is 26 November 2021, 12.00 noon Brussels time, following which registration is no longer possible.

It is your responsibility to complete your online registration in time. We strongly advise you not to wait until the last few days before applying, since heavy internet traffic or a fault with your internet connection could lead to the online registration being terminated before you complete it, thereby obliging you to repeat the whole process. Once the deadline for the submission of registrations has passed, you will no longer be able to introduce any data. Late registrations are not accepted.

Important information for candidates

Candidates are reminded that the work of the different selection committees is confidential. It is forbidden for candidates to make direct or indirect contact with their individual members or for anybody to do so on their behalf. Any query has to be addressed to the secretariat of the respective panels.

Protection of personal data

The Commission will ensure that candidates’ personal data are processed as required by Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council (11). This applies in particular to the confidentiality and security of such data.


(2)  Professional experience is only taken into consideration if it represents an actual work relationship defined as real, genuine work, on a paid basis and as employee (any type of contract) or provider of a service. Professional activities pursued part-time shall be calculated pro rata, on the basis of the certified percentage of full-time hours worked. Maternity leave/parental leave/leave for adoption is taken into consideration if it is in the framework of a work contract. PhDs are assimilated to professional experience, even when unpaid, but for a duration of 3 years maximum, provided that the PhD has been successfully completed. A given period may be counted only once.

(3)  In their curriculum vitae, candidates should clearly indicate for all years during which advisory experience has been acquired: (1) title and role of positions held; (2) numbers of staff overseen in these positions; (3) the size of budgets managed; (4) numbers of hierarchical layers above and below; and (5) number of peers.




(7)  Unless the Member of the Commission concerned, in line with the Commission Decisions of 5 December 2007 (PV(2007) 1811) and 30 September 2020 (PV(2020) 2351), has delegated this task.



(10)  You can find information on how to create your Europass CV online at:

(11)  Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).