Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Senior Vice President, Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Christine Gulbranson was appointed Senior Vice President of Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship on May 12, 2016. The division’s mission is to increase the innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities of the UC system. It is responsible for forging alliances in government, private and philanthropic sectors to create new opportunities for research and economic growth. Gulbranson works with all 10 UC campuses, five medical centers and three national labs — along with the gamut of partners in various sectors — to enable and empower greater collaborations and translation of research and innovation into the marketplace.
Gulbranson started her career at UCOP in 1997 as director of research collaborations, providing leadership in the creation and evaluation of large-scale collaborations among universities, national laboratories and industries. She transferred to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1999, where she established an incubator to accelerate entrepreneurial business growth and technology commercialization.
Understanding the financing dynamics and growth of startups led Gulbranson in 2000 to venture capital firm Global Catalyst Partners. She became a partner and invested in seed and early-stage companies focused on information technology and materials.
In 2005, Gulbranson founded Christalis, a strategic advisory firm specializing in business development, technology transfer and funding assistance for high-tech clients. As CEO, she bridged her skills as a scientist, engineer, entrepreneur and investor to help build national entities and brought a wealth of expertise across different industries.
From 2007 to 2010, Gulbranson was a senior fellow with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. She led the foundation’s clean technology initiatives and supported the development of commercial innovation at the university level.
Gulbranson helped launch Advanced Energy Economy in 2011, a national industry association. As the founding CEO of the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization, she was an integral part of the first renewable energy accelerator in the U.S. — a consortium of research institutions, investors, corporations and government.
Gulbranson has received multiple awards for her work, including being recognized as “Innovator of the 21st Century” by MIT Technology Review and “40 Under 40” of Silicon Valley business leaders. She also served as a judge on “The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius,” the Discovery Channel’s engineering competition show, for which she received and S.E.T. Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Technology Portrayals.
Gulbranson holds five degrees from UC Davis: a bachelor’s in physics; a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in chemical engineering and materials science; and an MBA. She has served her alma mater in advisory capacities to the External Research Board and to the Graduate School of Management.