About Catherine Renault

Catherine Renault is the principal and owner of Innovation Policyworks LLC, a firm that enables economic development officials at the state, regional and local levels make more data-driven decisions by providing research, analysis and recommendations. Her clients focus on innovation and entrepreneurship as critical elements of successful economic development, and use evaluation for program improvement and policymaking.

Dr. Renault was formerly the Director of the Maine Office of Innovation and Science Advisor to Governor John Baldacci. In this role, she worked closely with industry, the Legislature and research institutions to promote, develop and implement science and technology policy for the state of Maine. Among other duties, she oversaw the annual comprehensive evaluation of Maine's public investments in research and development and the publication of the Maine Innovation Index, projects she began at the University of North Carolina in 2000. This evaluation won the 2009 award for best program evaluation from the Center for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).

Dr. Renault has twenty-five years of experience in state science and technology-based economic development and evaluation, including leading a group at RTI International in Durham, NC where she consulted mostly with rural states and regions. Her previous state experience was as Managing Director of Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology where she was responsible for entrepreneurship and access to capital policy as well as statewide technology transfer initiatives. She also spent ten years in the private sector including AT&T, Data General and as Director of Marketing for a small computer hardware manufacturer.

Dr. Renault is originally from Boston and received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, her MBA from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Renault is a Certified Black Belt in Innovation Engineering. 

Dr. Renault is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Chair of the Board of Managers for Sea Change Group, LLC and a partner in Native Power, LLC. She also has an adjunct appointment at the University of Maine with the Foster Center for Student Innovation.

She previously served on Board of Directors for the Maine Technology Institute and CEI Capital Management (CCML), the Board of Trustees for the State Science and Technology Institute, the Governor's Task Force on Ocean Energy and Maine's Broadband Strategy Council.