Renee Kelly is assistant vice president for innovation and economic development for the University of Maine. She serves as a liaison to the state’s economic development community and identifies opportunities for the University to partner with national, state, regional and local organizations to improve Maine’s economy. In addition, she leads the commercialization support and innovation programs of the University of Maine, including the MIRTA Accelerator program, Foster Center for Innovation, UMaine’s I-Corps Site, and business incubation programs.
Ms. Kelly also leads UMaine’s efforts in the Innovation Engineering Institute, a collaboration to commercialize its innovation curriculum with education institutions worldwide. She was a founding member of the leadership team for Blackstone Accelerates Growth, which transitioned to become Maine Accelerates Growth, an initiative to create a thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation in Maine. As part of this effort, Ms. Kelly led the creation of the Innovate for Maine Fellows program, which was given the Maine Development Foundation’s Champion for Attraction, Retention and Engagement award. Her interests include the importance of networks in innovation and the history of innovation in Maine. Prior to joining the university, she developed new training products for Manpower of Connecticut, worked for a financial services start-up in San Diego and served as an aide to then U.S. Representative Olympia J. Snowe.