3 Estonians selected as members of European Commission mission boards

  • 2019-08-02
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Three Estonians, director of the Genome Center Andres Metspalu, member of the parliament Anne Sulling and software entrepreneur Ann Runnel have been selected as members of the mission boards to work on five major European research and innovation missions.

Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas announced the names of the experts who have been selected as members of the mission boards of Horizon Europe, the next EU research and innovation program for 2021-2027, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research told BNS on Friday. Metspalu was appointed a member of the mission board for cancer, Sulling a member of the mission board for climate-neutral and smart cities, and Runnel a member of the mission board for adaptation to climate change.

The mission boards are tasked with dealing with major challenges the people of Europe are facing and finding innovative research-based solutions to these challenges.

The five research and innovation missions focus on cancer, climate change, healthy oceans, climate-neutral smart cities and healthy soil and food. Each mission board consists of 15 members. Over 2,100 individuals from across the EU and beyond applied to become member of a mission board.

The duration of the missions is longer compared to other international cooperation projects in research in framework programs; they also boast a much larger budget and are expected to ensure broad-based cross-sectoral cooperation. The five mission boards will be engaged in integrated projects relating to research, placing products and services in the market, raising awareness and changing consumption patterns.

Inspired by the Apollo 11 mission to put a man on the moon, the European research and innovation missions aim to deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world.

Two Estonians, Martin Villig, co-founder of Estonian ride-hailing platform Bolt, and BaltCap Growth Fund partner Heidi Kakko, were also selected as members of the advisory board to the European Innovation Council (EIC) in June. The EIC advisory board advises the European Commission in the framework of the Horizon Europe program with the goal of fostering interaction between research and entrepreneurship and giving impetus to innovative businesses.