The proposal for Horizon Europe – the next framework programme for research and innovation (2021 - 2027) was adopted by the European Commission on 7 June 2018. European Heads of State endorsed the creation of a European Innovation Council (EIC) in the next EU budget, and invited the Commission to launch a new pilot initiative on breakthrough innovation within the remaining period of Horizon 2020 (see here). In response to this invitation, on 18 March 2019, the European Commission has announced an Enhanced EIC pilot (2019/2020) to pave the way for an EIC in Horizon Europe (see press release).
For the purpose of the launch and implementation of this enhanced EIC pilot, the European Commission wishes to recruit three to five EIC Programme Managers. They will be expected to make a major contribution to achieving breakthroughs in strategic emerging technologies, in particular through the oversight and support to the management of a portfolio of research and/or innovation projects funded by the EIC. This is a new role, and is expected to be rolled out more extensively in the full implementation of the EIC as of 2021.
All Programme Managers will be administratively attached until 31 December 2020 to the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation or Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology which are implementing the enhanced EIC pilot in the frame of the extended EIC Task Force; from 2021, the EIC will be fully-fledged under the Framework Programme Horizon Europe and will be placed under an administrative authority that remains to be identified. For this reason, the initial contract of the Programme Managers shall be concluded for a period running until the end of 2020. That contract may be extended once for a maximum of two years. If the administrative authority operating the EIC as of January 2021 is different than the Commission, a new contract may be foreseen for a duration of maximum three years. In this case, the Temporary Agent staff of the Commission shall be offered by that administrative authority the possibility without publication and selection procedure, of concluding Temporary Agent contracts in the same function group to ensure continuity of their activities.
Programme Managers are expected to work full-time. They will be subject to the Conditions of Employment of Officials and other Servants of the European Union (CEOS) and the Commission’s code on good administrative behaviour. These lay down strict rules on ethics, confidentiality and conflict of interest.
1. The EC propose
Three to five challenging positions as Programme Manager with specific duties to:
- advise the European Commission on how technological breakthrough and disruptive innovation opportunities can best be supported and promoted under the EIC, by, for example, proposing targeted activities in new areas related to their domain of expertise and identified as potential emerging technologies
- constitute and oversee portfolios of the EIC Pathfinder projects (specific to their area of expertise), shape and steer their combined strategic direction and positioning within the global / international technology development and innovation landscape and emerging trends
- review the international state of the art to best position their portfolio
- pursue specific area and portfolios targets, based on the progress, functioning and ability of the EIC Pathfinder’s projects within their portfolio to meet pre-established milestones, and advise on their continuation, re-orientation or interruption
- advise the EIC Pathfinder projects on how and when they could achieve funding for “EIC transition activities” (support from research to innovation stage) and/or EIC Accelerator support
- assist in refining the objectives of the EIC Pathfinder by reporting progress of their portfolios to the EIC ‘Pilot’ Advisory Board and relevant Programme Committee
- make the links with potential investors, in close cooperation notably with the EIC Accelerator
- contribute to the management of EIC Pathfinder projects and some EIC Accelerator projects (part of the same portfolio) and advise on their continuation, re-orientation or interruption
- work closely together among themselves and EIC staff and ensure that the European Commission and EIC Advisory Board are made aware of new emerging technologies and new trends in the innovation ecosystem, and alert the European Commission to perceived or actual regulatory barriers to innovation
Additionally, Programme Managers will act as ambassadors for the EIC by:
- identifying and engaging with the relevant stakeholders (e.g. relevant national initiatives, innovation ecosystems, early stage investors, etc.) across Europe as well as with relevant projects funded elsewhere in the Horizon 2020 framework programme
- participating in meetings with stakeholders, so as to share and to further refine portfolios’ visions and objectives and stimulate their participation to EIC calls
- promoting calls for proposals to all potential applicants
- promoting calls for expression of interest to all potential independent experts
- participating in outreach events and communications activities
2.They look for (selection criteria)
a. Eligibility and selection
Candidates must satisfy the requirements set out in Article 12 of the CEOS, which include:
- be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union;
- meet any obligations under national laws on military service;
- meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.
The European Union institutions apply a policy of equal opportunities and accept applications without distinction on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.
Knowledge of languages
Article 12.2(e) of the CEOS provides that a temporary agent may be appointed only on the condition that he/she produces evidence of a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the Union and a satisfactory knowledge of another language.
You must therefore have knowledge of at least two official EU languages, one at minimum C1 level (thorough knowledge) and the other at minimum B2 level (satisfactory knowledge).
Please note that the minimum levels required above must apply to each linguistic ability (speaking, writing, reading and listening). These abilities reflect those of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
In this notice of selection we will refer to the languages as:
- Language 1 (L1): English (language used for drafting the motivation letter and CV, as well as in the interview and for the communication between the secretariat of the selection committee and the candidates who have submitted a valid application);
- Language 2 (L2): any one of the other 23 official languages of the European Union (i.e. different than English).
Due to the nature of the tasks as well as the objectives as defined by the role of Programme Managers (see section 1), English remains a prerequisite as it will be the daily working language of Programme Managers with notably beneficiaries of EIC related projects from EU Members States and Horizon 2020 Associated and Third Countries.
3. Selection specific criteria
Candidates will be considered for the selection phase based on the following formal criteria to be fulfilled by the deadline for submission of applications.
Candidates must have a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma in a field related to breakthrough innovation and technologies, and/or related aspects in business administration, finance and project management where the normal period of university education is 4 years or more.
Only diplomas that have been awarded in EU Member States or that are the subject of equivalence certificates issued by the authorities of one of these Member States shall be taken into consideration.
By the deadline for submission of applications, and in addition to the qualifications required
above, candidates must have at least 10 years' full time relevant professional experience in at least one of the field as mentioned above, gained after obtaining the diploma required for admission to the selection procedure.
The following specific experiences would be considered as an asset/are desirable (for this EIC Enhanced Pilot) in one or more of the following non-exhaustive fields (prospective future Pathfinder specific calls):
- Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence
- Implantable autonomous devices and materials
- Breakthrough zero-emissions energy generation for full decarbonisation
- Future technologies for social experience
- Measuring the unmeasurable –– Sub-nanoscale science for Nanometrology
- Digital twins for the life-sciences
- Environmental Intelligence
The professional experience for this specific profile may have been gained, for example, in international organisations and/or bodies, research institutes, industry, non-governmental organisations or as a self-employed activity and will only be taken into account if it:
- constitutes genuine and effective work,
- is remunerated,
- involves a subordinate relationship or the supply of a service, and
- is subject to the following conditions:
- maternity/paternity/adoption leave: if covered by an employment contract
- doctorate: for a maximum of 3 years, provided the doctorate was actually obtained, and whether or not the work was remunerated, and
- part-time work: calculated pro-rata on the basis of the number of hours worked, e.g. half-time for 6 months would count as 3 months
The successful candidates should demonstrate:
- Leading expertise: in at least one of the technology fields targeted in the EIC pilot (such as Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence; Implantable autonomous devices and materials; Breakthrough zero-emissions energy generation for full decarbonisation; Future technologies for social experience; Measuring the unmeasurable –– Sub-nanoscale science for Nanometrology; Digital twins for the life-sciences; Environmental Intelligence);
- Multidisciplinary experience across academia and industry, between the public and private sector, ensuring a broad and dynamic perspective;
- Visionary thinking: they should have a clear vision of potential breakthrough technologies and their use in their area of expertise, and demonstrate creativity, drive and determination to realise the vision in a compressed timeframe;
- Ability to lead: they should be leaders with the ability to steer and support teams, set reasonable milestones and seek results and impact;
- Ability to influence: Programme Managers should be influential people with a vast network and collaboration potential across the EU and Countries associated to the Framework Programme, and an excellent ability to envisage partnerships between different actors and funding instruments of the innovation ecosystem;
- Communication skills: Programme Managers should understand the importance of communicating their visions tirelessly, creatively, and broadly, and have excellent oral and written communication skills in order to liaise, communicate and cooperate efficiently and fluently with internal and external stakeholders.
Additional assets would be:
- entrepreneurial experience, e.g. having been instrumental in the creation and growth of a university spin off or a start-up ;
- excellent ability to organise, coordinate and manage tasks and work relations;
- experience in understanding and managing multi-disciplinary research/project teams;
- experience in managing government/public or private funding for technology breakthroughs research and innovation.
c. Language aspects of this selection
Candidates are invited to choose in their application which language is their Language 2 (L2). Please note that the language you choose as L2 can be different from your Mother tongue, as long as you comply with the knowledge requirements as set out in the ‘Knowledge of language section’.
Candidates must complete their application (CV and motivation letter) in English as the latter will be their daily working language with notably beneficiaries of EIC related projects from EU Members States and Horizon 2020 Associated and Third Countries. Please note that your whole application will be accessed by the selection committee (during the selection) and by HR services of the European Commission (for recruitment in case you are a successful candidate) who work in a limited number of vehicular languages.
4. Conduct of this Selection
a. Eligibility checks
The eligibility requirements laid down in "Eligibility and selection" above will be checked against the data provided in candidates’ applications. The selection committee will check whether you meet all eligibility conditions. Only candidates who meet all eligibility conditions will be admitted to the pre-selection stage.
The selection committee will carry out a pre-selection based on the qualifications and professional experience as well as on the candidates' knowledge of languages.
For this purpose, the selection committee will use the following weighting for each criterion to rate the candidates:
Candidates who have successfully completed the pre-selection stage will be invited for:
- an interview to assess and compare objectively and impartially their qualifications, professional experience in one of the fields of expertise sought, and knowledge of languages, as set out in this notice of selection.
That interview will be held in English only, in order to complete the selection procedure as quickly as possible in the interest of the candidates as well as that of the institution.
d. List of aptitude of successful candidates
The Commission will establish a reserve list of aptitude of successful candidates. That list will be used for the first three to five Programme Managers posts as well as in cases that additional Programme Manager posts become available or an appointed Programme Manager has to be replaced in its post during that period. The reserve list will remain valid up to 31 December 2021.
5. Ethical obligations
As any other staff member of the Commission, Programme managers shall carry out their duties and conduct themselves solely with the interests of the Union in mind and independently of any interests, which might be considered prejudicial to their independence.
Programme managers are subject to the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Union and the Commission’s code on good administrative behaviour.
Prior to entry into service, Programme Managers shall declare to the Commission any personal interest, in particular a family or financial interest, or other interests of third parties (e.g. related to previous positions held), which would actually or potentially impair their independence in the course of their duties and which may thus lead to any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest relevant to that position.
Particular attention is drawn to the fact that, during service, Programme Managers must comply with the following provisions:
- Article 11(1) of the Staff Regulations:
“an official shall carry out her/his duties and the conduct himself solely with the interests of the Union in mind. She/he shall neither seek nor take instructions from any government, authority, organisation or person outside his institution. She/he shall carry out the duties assigned to him objectively, impartially and in keeping with his duty of loyalty to the Union”
- Article 11(a) of the Staff Regulations:
"an official shall not, in the performance of his duties and save as hereinafter provided, deal with a matter in which, directly or indirectly, he has any personal interest such as to impair his independence, and, in particular, family and financial interests."
If the Programme Managers have to deal with such matters in the performance of their duties, the Appointing Authority shall take any appropriate measure, and may in particular relieve the official from responsibility in this matter.
- Article 61 of the Financial Regulation, which requires that Programme Managers shall refrain from project implementation which may bring their own interests into conflict with those of the Union and shall refer the matter to the Authorising Officer by Sub-Delegation who shall confirm in writing whether a conflict of interests exists. The Programme Manager shall also inform his or her hierarchical superior. Where a conflict of interests is found to exist, the Programme Manager shall cease all activities in the matter. The Authorising Officer by Delegation shall take any further appropriate action.
In addition, after leaving the European Commission, Programme Managers will be bound by the provisions of Article 16 of the Staff Regulations and Title Four of Commission Decision C(2018)4048 final of 29 June 2018 on outside activities and assignments and on occupational after leaving the Service. For 2 years after leaving the service, former staff members wishing to perform an occupational activity must inform the Commission. If that activity is related to the work carried out during the last 3 years of service and could lead to a conflict with the legitimate interests of the Commission, the Commission can give its approval subject to any conditions it sees fit or forbid the activity. Activities that would put the Programme Managers in a situation of conflict of interests will not be authorised (e.g. taking up a position with any company that was directly linked to projects they were managing as an EIC Programme Manager).
Additional information on appropriate safeguards and measures that may be imposed by the Commission to avoid conflicts of interests may be provided to candidates prior to signature of contracts.
The European Commission will select and engage the Programme Managers in accordance with its selection and recruitment procedures. The selection decision for a particular post will be made by Directorate-General for Research and Innovation or Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, in agreement with the other DG, from the reserve list of successful candidates.
7. How to apply
Candidates must provide the following documents in their application file:
- motivation letter and CV, drafted in L1
- copy of an official document proving citizenship (identity card or passport), in original language
- copy of the diploma(s) or certificate(s) of the required level of education, in original language
- employment certificates proving the length of professional experience. These documents must clearly show the start and end date and continuity of each of the periods of professional experience to be counted for this selection procedure. For this purpose candidates should ideally produce employment certificates from their former employers and current employer. Failing this, copies of the following documents, for example, will be accepted: employment contracts, accompanied by the first and last pay slips and the final monthly pay slip for each intermediate year in the case of a contract of more than one year, official letters or acts of appointment, accompanied by the final salary slip, employment records, tax declarations, in original language.
Final acceptance of the application is subject to presentation of the requisite supporting documents. If these documents are not received by the deadline stipulated, the application will be deemed void.
If candidates are in any doubt about the nature or validity of the documents to be presented they should contact the secretary of the selection committee at least 10 working days before the deadline expires, via email:
The aim is to enable candidates to produce a complete and acceptable dossier by the deadline.
Successful candidates who are to be offered a job will, at a later date, be required to produce the originals of all the required documents for the purpose of recruitment.
Completed applications, accompanied by a letter of motivation and all required documents must be submitted via email:
Candidates should use also this functional mailbox for all correspondence with the selection committee and for any request for information.
The closing date for the submission of applications is 31 July 2019 12.00 noon Brussels time.
Salaries and conditions of employment are those laid down in the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants for temporary agents occupying a function corresponding to grades AD 9-11, depending on the number of years of professional experience.
Applicants should note the requirement under the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants for all new staff to complete successfully a 9-month probationary period.
The place of employment will be Brussels.
This notice of selection is published in English on the websites of Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology.
Applicants are reminded that the work of the selection committees is confidential. It is forbidden for applicants to make direct or indirect contact with members of these committees, or for anybody to do so, on their behalf.
Any direct communication between candidates and the Commission services will be exclusively by email. Therefore, to enable Commission services to contact candidates, each candidate is required to indicate a valid e-mail address that can be used throughout the entire selection procedure.
In so far as the knowledge of English is required from the candidates, it appears justified and proportionate, with a view to striking a balance between candidates’ abilities and resources of the administration, to require candidates to choose one of these two languages in their communications with the administration.
Complaint to the European Ombudsman - Like all citizens of the European Union, you can make any complaint to:
So, still interested?