Home Bernd Fesel appointed CEO of EIT Culture & Creativity

A landmark achievement for the new KIC

EIT Culture & Creativity’s Executive Board and Supervisory Board ratified Bernd Fesel, who has been holding the interim position since 22 June 2022, as Chief Executive Officer.

EIT Culture & Creativity culminates the selection process of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the appointment of Bernd Fesel. The announcement was made during the EIT Culture & Creativity Moonshot event, celebrated in Brussels on 30 May, with the presence of distinguished representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, as well as stakeholders from education, research, business committed with the European cultural and creative industries. The new CEO will be responsible of implementing the Strategic Agenda and drive the success of EIT Culture & Creativity, the ninth Innovation Community (KIC) supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. 


The appointment is produced after a two-month long open selection process, a mandatory requirement during the EIT Culture & Creativity Startup Grant for ensuring the best possible candidate is hired for the position. Upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee, EIT Culture & Creativity’s Supervisory Board Chairwoman, Daria Gołębiowska-Tataj, submitted the proposal to the Executive Board for approval.

“EIT Culture and Creativity is considered “the next generation KIC” in the EIT community. We will do our best to support Bernd Fesel as the CEO in fulfilling the ambitious promise made to our Partners and Stakeholders.”

“I firmly believe that our decision to appoint Bernd Fesel as CEO will significantly enrich the EIT Culture & Creativity. His decades of expertise and comprehensive know-how in the funding landscape of the culture and creative industries are an invaluable asset and I particularly appreciate his solution-oriented and appreciative way of thinking.”

“The goal of promoting and supporting the integration of the knowledge triangle – bridging the gap between education, research and innovation – is a cornerstone of the EIT’s mission. With Bernd Fesel as CEO, the promotion of this goal is in good and experienced hands.”

Bernd Fesel has over 30 year experience dedicated to Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries. He is a serial entrepreneur with a long track record of startup creation, creating and supporting public organisations, and bringing to life programs and policies for CCSI. He coordinated the consortium called Innovation for Creative Economy that was designated as EIT Culture & Creativity on 22 June 2022. From 2011 up until taking office as interim CEO, Bernd Fesel was Director of the European Creative Business Network (ECBN), a not-for-profit organization of over 170 members from 44 countries that supports and develops the cultural and creative industries in Europe. Before that, he held the role of vice director of the European Capital of Culture in the Ruhr Region and was senior advisor to the legacy institute of RUHR.2010 til 2018: the European Centre for Creative Economy in Dortmund. He played a key role in EU initiatives such as JRC-Creative City Monitor, Voices for Culture program and ENCATC and setup a European Research Alliance on Spillover-Effects of Culture and Creativity.

After the CEO appointment, EIT Culture & Creativity will select the members of the Managing Board. Applications for the positions of Chief Operations Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Communication & Engagement Officer (CCO)  are open until 16 June 2023. 

About EIT Culture & Creativity

EIT Culture & Creativity is the ninth Innovation Community by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. It is designed to strengthen and transform Europe’s Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSI) by connecting creatives and organisations to Europe’s largest innovation network. It takes a holistic and open approach to innovation – from tech to artistic driven innovations, from business to citizen driven – and reinforces the appreciation and anchoring of European values and identities. EIT Culture & Creativity will unlock latent value from a multitude of small CCSI stakeholders through technology transfer, improved cross-sectoral collaboration and their effective integration in production value networks. EIT Culture & Creativity will support technology and business innovation; artistic innovation and social innovation. It will also harness the unique position of the CCSI to facilitate the Triple Transitions in Europe – green, digital and social.

About The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

The EIT is Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem bringing together close to 3,000 partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in over 80 innovation hubs. The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Institute supports dynamic pan-European partnerships, EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, composed of leading companies, research labs and universities each dedicated to solving a pressing global challenge, from climate change to health, to renewable energy.