Canadian Corporate Innovation Summit

Christine Gulbranson

Christine Gulbranson

Senior Vice President of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, University of California system


Dr. Christine Gulbranson is Senior Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the University of California system, the nation’s largest public research university with ten campuses, five medical centres, three affiliated national laboratories and a statewide agriculture and natural resource program. Gulbranson leads a team that is empowering greater collaboration and translation of research and innovation into the marketplace. She is forging alliances and partnerships with government, private and philanthropic sectors to create new opportunities for research and economic growth.

For more than a decade, Gulbranson was CEO of Christalis, a strategic advisory firm specializing in business development, technology transfer and funding assistance for high-tech clients. Bridging her skills as a scientist, engineer, entrepreneur and investor, Gulbranson was the founding CEO of the U.S.’s first renewable energy accelerator, the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization. She also helped build national entities such as Advanced Energy Economy, a national industry association.

As a senior fellow with the Kauffman Foundation, she led the foundation’s clean technology initiatives and supported the development of commercial innovation at the university level. Gulbranson was a partner at venture capital firm, Global Catalyst Partners, where she invested in seed and early-stage companies in IT, software and materials.

At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Gulbranson established an incubator to accelerate entrepreneurial business growth and technology commercialization. She started her career at the University of California’s Office of the President as Director of Research Collaborations, providing leadership in the creation and evaluation of large-scale collaborations among universities, national laboratories and industry players.

Gulbranson has received multiple awards for her work, including being recognized as an “innovator of the 21st century” by the MIT Technology Review and being named in the “40 under 40” of the Silicon Valley Business Journal. She was also a judge on “The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius,” the Discovery Channel’s engineering competition show, which aired globally in over 100 countries.

Gulbranson holds five degrees from UC Davis: a bachelor’s degree in Physics; a bachelor’s, a master’s and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; and a MBA.