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One-Line Bio

Experienced leader and policy maker in economic development, competitiveness, innovation and start-ups.


Egils Milbergs is CEO of the Center for Accelerating Innovation ( The focus is on powering the nation's future innovation ecosystems. He is the former executive director of the Washington Economic Development Commission and functioned as the chief operating officer for the 24 member group of agency directors, legislators, business, academia, financial services, ports, and non-profits. The commission built a broad and coordinated innovation-based economic development strategy for driving economic recovery, job creation, exports, and competitiveness. The Commission implemented the STARs program for recruiting world-class research teams, over 30 Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at the University of Washington and Washington State University, and championed the designation of 15 Innovation Partnership Zones across Washington state.

His previous experience in Washington DC includes formulating the innovation framework for the National Innovation Initiative (NII) -- a business, education, and labor project of the Council on Competitiveness. As president of the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM), he led membership development and advocated for a revitalized US manufacturing base as crucial for sustaining middle-class jobs and global economic leadership. He founded Learning Access to help K-12 schools grasp the potential of the internet for transforming education outcomes. He acquired $6 million in funding for internet-enabled after- school centers called the Chicago Neighborhood Learning Network and co-managed the CyberEd truck tour delivering technical training and internet resources to low-income Empowerment Zones across the nation. As president of the Institute for Illinois, a joint business and Congressional Delegation initiative, he put together a bi-partisan competitiveness agenda including a $2 billion portfolio of R&D projects for universities, small businesses, federal labs, and the defense industry. As an adviser to the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) he shaped and successfully implemented Virginia’s first technology strategic plan, including a private sector-led space commercialization initiative.

He served president Ronald Reagan as executive director of the President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness managing the staff and consensus process that produced the landmark report entitled "Global Competition: The New Reality." The report set in motion an enduring policy framework for US competitiveness still operative today. As Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Commerce Department, he administered the Bayh-Dole Act, Stevenson-Wydler Act, National Technology Transfer Act that collectively unlocked federally funded intellectual property for licensing, industry partnerships, start-ups and billions of dollars of commercialization and start-up activity. He catalyzed and advanced the seminal concepts for the Baldridge National Quality Award in collaboration with IBM and Xerox.

At SRI International he supervised multidisciplinary research projects on federal R&D practices, technology commercialization models and advised clients on emerging economic and technological trends. Early in his career, he was a staff member of the Office of Management and Budget and the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization. Milbergs is a graduate of Harvard College.