Dr John Bell

UCD Alumni Award in Research, Innovation and Impact

John Bell is the ‘Healthy Planet’ Director of DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission in Brussels. As Director of European Commission DG Research and Innovation, since his appointment in 2014 John has been the leader in the development of the potential of the Bioeconomy.

He is paving the way for a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society that reconciles food security with sustainable use of renewable resources whilst ensuring environmental protection. He is responsible for leading the Research and Innovation transitions on Climate Change within Planetary Boundaries, Bioeconomy, Food Systems, Environment and Biodiversity, Oceans and Arctic, Circular Economy, Water and Bio-based innovations.This includes harnessing the investments of 10bn Horizon Europe, Circular Bioeconomy, the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, and Governing Board of 3.7bn in Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking.

Until 2019, he was Director of Bioeconomy, delivered the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, and policy initiatives including FOOD2030 and the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. Through this transformative impact on research and innovation in Europe, John has contributed to the development of solutions to global challenges.  Before his role with Healthy Planet, John was the Chief de Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

John Bell 2019 Alumni Award Winner in Research, Innovation and Impact