Laura Kilcrease, a respected innovation systems leader and venture capitalist, will lead the recently consolidated Alberta Innovates Corporation as it strengthens support for research, innovation and economic diversification.
Kilcrease has more than 25 years of experience creating collaborations between businesses, universities, government and private and public institutions.
Widely credited for her pivotal role in the growth and diversification of the formerly oil- and gas-dependent economy of Austin, TX, Kilcrease’s leadership will help ensure Alberta has an agile and globally competitive research and innovation network that benefits Albertans’ lives and economy.
“Laura Kilcrease has demonstrated that with the right supports innovative researchers and entrepreneurs can diversify an economy and create new jobs in both emerging and traditional sectors. Alberta’s world-class researchers, entrepreneurs and academic institutions can be proud their international reputation has attracted world-class talent to take on this exciting new role.”
“Alberta has many of the right ingredients to thrive as an innovative economy in this rapidly changing 21st century – it is a matter of getting the recipe right. Laura will be Alberta Innovates’ chief relationship developer, working in concert with business, academic institutions, regional innovation networks and other governments to ensure Alberta’s promising innovators have the best chance at accelerating their ideas into impactful application and job growth.”
Alberta Innovates enables and funds provincial research and innovation – ensuring entrepreneurs and researchers have expert support in responding to challenges and opportunities – building on Alberta’s strengths in the health, environment, energy, food, forestry/fibre, and emerging technology sectors.
The new CEO will report to the Alberta Innovates board, comprised of 11 prominent innovators and business leaders across a variety of sectors.
The minister would like to thank Pamela Valentine for the leadership she provided as the Transition CEO throughout consolidation of the four previous Alberta Innovates entities into one innovation powerhouse last year. Valentine will continue to champion innovation in Alberta – providing momentum and continuity as interim CEO, before transitioning to the role of Executive Vice President Strategic Planning and Initiatives once Kilcrease has completed her move to Alberta in the coming weeks.
The consolidation of Alberta Innovates Corporation will lead to a more diversified economy, better environmental protections and healthier living in the province by making it easier for researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to access technical expertise, funding, networks and facilities.