The Alberta government announced a new CEO of the Alberta Innovates Corporation Thursday.
Laura Kilcrease has been appointed to the position. The government said the move is an effort to strengthen support for research, innovation and economic diversification.
Kilcrease has more than 25 years experience and has worked on creating collaborations between businesses, universities, government and various public and private institutions.
Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deron Bilous, said Kilcrease’s appointment should make Albertans proud.
“She 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,” Bilous said.
“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.” he said
Credited for her role in the growth and diversification of the formerly oil and gas dependent economy of Austin, Texas, the government said they expect Kilcrease’s leadership will help ensure the province has an agile and globally competitive research and innovation network that will benefit Albertans’ lives and the economy.
“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,” Alberta Innovates Board of Directors chair Judy Fairburn said.
“Working in concert with business, academic institutions, regional innovation networks and other governments, she will ensure Alberta’s promising innovators have the best chance at accelerating their ideas into impactful application and job growth.”
Ensuring that entrepreneurs and researchers have expert support in responding to challenges and opportunities, Alberta Innovates’ goal is to enable and fund provincial research and innovation.
Kilcrease will report to the Alberta Innovates Board, which is comprised of 11 business leaders and innovators.
Interim CEO Pamela Valentine will transition to the role of Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Initiatives upon Kilcrease’s installation in the coming weeks.