Welcoming Dr. Richard Benjamins as Chairperson of EIT Digital's Supervisory Board

EIT Digital is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Richard Benjamins as the new Chairperson of the Supervisory Board. Dr. Benjamins brings a wealth of experience and a visionary perspective to this role, promising to lead EIT Digital into a new era of innovation and impact.

Dr. Richard Benjamins is the co-founder and CEO of the Spanish observatory for ethical and social impacts of AI (OdiseIA). Until March 2024, he served as the Chief Responsible AI Officer at Telefónica, where he founded the “AI for Society and Environment” area, playing a pivotal role in shaping Telefónica's approach to the ethical use of artificial intelligence. Recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in data-driven business (DataIQ 100, 2018), Dr. Benjamins' influence extends across various prestigious organisations.

He serves as a board director of the environmental non-profit CDP-Europe, and is part of advisory boards for the Centre for Digital Culture at the Vatican and MIT-Sloan's panel on Responsible AI. Additionally, he is an external expert to the European Parliament's AI Observatory (EPAIO) and a member of the WEF Expert Group on AI Governance.

Dr. Benjamins’ impressive career includes positions as Group Chief Data Officer at AXA, and executive roles at Telefónica in Big Data and Analytics. He has also been a member of the GSMA task force on AI for Impact, and the OECD AI expert group on the OECD AI Index. His academic contributions are notable, with over 150 scientific publications and authorship of several influential books on AI and data-driven business.

Before joining Telefónica, he was a director and board member at iSOCO, a company he co-founded in 1999, which received the National Award for Computer Science. His academic tenure includes positions at renowned institutions such as the Technical University of Madrid, University of Amsterdam, University of Sao Paulo, and University of Paris-South.

"I am impressed with the great achievements of EIT Digital; the effort of an excellent team. Few other organisations understand so deeply that digital innovation is about building bridges between education, start-ups, corporates, and public bodies to create thriving ecosystems around digital technologies, of which AI is already representing 50%," Benjamins said.

EIT Digital extends its gratitude to the outgoing Chairman, Linnar Viik, for his remarkable contributions over the past six years. Reflecting on his tenure, Linnar stated, "During these years, I have seen EIT Digital evolve into the vibrant and innovative organisation it is today, capable of facing and adapting to new challenges. I am confident that with Richard at the helm, EIT Digital will continue to thrive and achieve new heights."

Federico Menna Federico Menna, CEO EIT Digital Echoing this sentiment, EIT Digital CEO Federico Menna said, "Richard's expertise and leadership will undoubtedly propel us forward. His deep understanding of the digital landscape and commitment to ethical AI make him the ideal choice to guide EIT Digital into its next phase of growth."

"I would like to thank Linnar for his strong support and guidance throughout the years, EIT Digital is now on a strong and steady growth trajectory."

"As always, we are looking forward - pushing the European innovation agenda, supercharging our ecosystem, nurturing talent, upskilling SMEs and professionals and bringing regions to the innovation game early on."

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