Catherine S. Renault
Phone: (207) 522-9028
All businesses and organizations have the opportunity and capacity and imperative to be innovative, not just those driven by or dependent upon science and technology. For today’s economic growth, we need to support innovation communities, focused on diversity, tolerance, vibrancy, and entrepreneurship.
Catherine Renault is the principal and owner of Innovation Policyworks LLC, a firm that provides research and analysis to enable economic development officials at the state, regional and local levels make more data-driven decisions. Her clients focus on innovation and entrepreneurship as critical elements of successful economic development, and use evaluation for program improvement and policymaking.
Dr. Renault has twenty-four years of experience in state technology-based economic development and evaluation. She was the Director of the Maine Office of Innovation and Science Advisor to Governor John Baldacci. Her previous state role 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 with AT&T and Data General.
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 currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and of the Board of Managers for Sea Change Group, LLC. She also has a research appointment at the University of Maine with the Foster Center for Student Innovation.
Catherine's Affecting Real Change
Dr. Renault has been involved with numerous projects that have changed the economies of the places where she has worked. Some recent examples include:
- Working with the Executive Director of the Bridgeworks Center, an incubator in Allentown, PA as part of a larger economic development project. As a result of the review and recommendations that we made, the Bridgeworks Center has been revived as a fully functioning and major contributor to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Lehigh Valley.
- Supporting the new Governor of Rhode Island and her senior staff by providing data about the state’s research assets in order to make the Governor’s vision of an innovation district in downtown Providence a reality. The Secretary of Commerce said that my insights completely changed their approach for the better.
- In the City of Falmouth, Maine, we provided insights into how innovation, entrepreneurship and the Millennial generation will likely change this Portland suburb. The resulting plan was unanimously adopted by the Economic Development Committee and Town Council, and is being implemented.
Dr. Renault lives in Topsham, Maine with her husband Pete. When she’s not working, she can be found in her garden or in her kayak, and in the winter, on skis. She is also an award-winning quilter and avid collector of fabric.