Director-General Research & Innovation
Robert-Jan Smits is responsible for defining and implementing the EU policy and programmes in the field of research and innovation (average annual budget 8 billion euro). Mr Smits was one of the main architects and negotiators of Horizon 2020, the 80 billion EU programme for science and innovation (2014-2020). He has also been instrumental in the development of several other policy initiatives in the field of European science and innovation. Mr Smits is chairing several high-level committees of the ERC Executive Agency (ERCEA) and joint S&T committees with Europe's key global partners. He has degrees from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Institut Universitaire d'Hautes Etudes internationales in Switzerland and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the USA.