Dr John Bell is Director for the Bioeconomy in DG Research & Innovation. He is responsible for leading the definition, implementation and investment of EU Research & Innovation policy and programming across the Bioeconomy; from agriculture and food systems, oceans, marine and maritime issues to investment in new sustainable bio-based industries. This includes Horizon 2020, 3.8 billion Societal Challenge 2, the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the 3.7 billion euro Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking and Food and Nutrition Security FOOD2030. He leads Oceans R&I strategies including the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the Bonus programme (Baltic Sea) and the BlueMed Initiative (Mediterranean).
His professional background was in academia (Anglo-Irish Studies) and in Business Journalism in London. During his E.C. career he has worked in External Relations on financial assistance programmes in the former Yugoslavia, public administration reform in Central and Eastern Europe, and on Poland’s accession to the EU. Dr Bell was a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner David Byrne with responsibility for enlargement, food safety, tobacco control, public health and global health security issues, including bioterrorism. He was Head of Cabinet to European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva on Consumer Affairs. As Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on Research and Innovation, he was responsible for developing and funding Horizon 2020, mainstreaming innovation, financial investment and simplification.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, he was educated at University College Dublin and completed his Doctorate (D. Phil.) in Cultural Nationalism in Northern Ireland at St John’s College, Oxford University.