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Alexander von Gabain to succeed Martin Schuurmans as EIT Chairman on 15 September 2011

(PresseBox) (Vienna, ) During its meeting of 16 February 2011, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Governing Board unanimously elected Alexander von Gabain as its next Chairman. Alexander von Gabain will succeed Martin Schuurmans, first Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, when his term ends on 15 September 2011.

"I am delighted and honoured to have been elected Chairman by my fellow Governing Board members. I am very much looking forward to taking on this challenge with my colleagues at the EIT headquarters and together continue to shape our first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs)", says Alexander von Gabain. "After successfully seed-investing into the first three KICs, the next four years will be decisive for the EIT as we will present and start implementing our first Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA). The SIA will outline the EIT's future priorities and provide the basis for further support from the European Union in order for the EIT to become a significant driver of intelligent and sustainable growth and competitiveness in Europe. I will try to do my very best to live up to the standards set by our first Chairman, Martin, whose outstanding leadership has been pivotal for the success to implement the EIT and its first three KICs in record time".

"I am extremely pleased that Alexander will succeed me as Chairman of the EIT Governing Board in September", says Martin Schuurmans. "With his drive and entrepreneurial experience within the knowledge triangle and under his leadership, I am convinced that the EIT will continue to move forward and increase its impactful investment into Europe's underused potential as an innovative continent."

Michel Gréco, Chairman of Intercell's Supervisory Board states: "I am proud that Alexander has been selected for this honourable and important mission. At the same time, I am pleased that he will continue to serve Intercell AG with his strategic and scientific knowledge in the future."

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an institute of the European Union with its headquarters in Budapest, Hungary. The EIT drives impactful innovation through a focus on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education within its KICs built around innovation hotspots in Europe and spanning across the whole innovation web: education, research, technology and business.

Alexander von Gabain obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Heidelberg and held a post-doctorate position at the Stanford University.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he was Professor at the University of Umeå and at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as an advisor to pharmaceutical and biotech companies. From 1992 to 1998, he was Chair of Microbiology of the University of Vienna at the Campus Vienna Biocenter, Austria and has helped to build the public private partnership of the Vienna Biocenter/IMP. In 1998, he co-founded Intercell AG and led the company as CEO until it was successfully floated on the Vienna Stock Exchange in 2005. From 2005 to 2009, he was Member of the Executive Management Board and CSO of the Company. Since then, he has been serving the Company as strategic advisor and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board.

His research interest is in the field of biomedical research and documented by a large number of publications, book chapters and patents. He is professor of Microbiology at the Max Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna, and foreign adjunct professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, member of several professional organizations and serves on the boards of biotech enterprises, including TVM Capital, Munich. In 2008, he was appointed to the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), where he is involved with the innovative entrepreneurship agenda. His achievements have been acknowledged by prestigious industrial awards, academic prizes, honourable memberships, including the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Science.

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