Dr Waldemar Kütt was the director of the European Research Council (ERC) Executive Agency, the administrative arm of the ERC, from May 2020 to December 2021. He was already the acting director of the executive agency since August 2019. Prior to this, from 2014 to 2019, he headed the European Commission’s unit for "Bioeconomy and Food Systems” in the Directorate “Healthy Planet” of the Directorate General (DG) for Research and Innovation and the units for "Bio-based Products and Processing" and “Bioeconomy Strategy” in the “Bioeconomy” Directorate of the same DG. In the latter position, he was in charge of the 2018 Commission Communication updating the 2012 Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan. From 2008 to 2014, he held various positions as senior expert, as well as deputy and Head of Cabinet in the cabinets of Research Commissioners Potočnik and Geoghegan-Quinn. His main responsibilities included the then upcoming €80billion EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. He joined the Research DG of the European Commission in 1997 and has since coordinated activities and policies related to innovation, SME, IPR, finance, technology transfer and bioregions. He holds a doctor's degree summa cum laude in physics from the Technical University Aachen, Germany, and has worked several years as postdoc on ultrafast carrier transport and coherent phonons in semiconductors, and published several papers in the field.
Former Director of the European Research Council Executive Agency