Karinne Bredberg has been promoted to director of innovation in Northern Illinois University’s Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships.

Karinne Bredberg

Northern Illinois University (NIU) has found its new director of innovation in Karinne Bredberg, who has served in the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships’ Office of Innovation since 2006.

Most recently, Bredberg was assistant director for innovation operations.

She replaces her former boss Luke Sebby, who had been in charge since February 2020, when he joined from Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation. He is now executive director of strategic advancement at NIU Foundation, responsible for building out the university’s ecosystem.

Bredberg’s experiences at NIU range from managing the intellectual property portfolio to building partnerships, an aspect she hopes to continue prioritising. She previously led initiatives with Discover Financial Services and Ideal Industries, and spearheads a current internship programme with Northwestern Mutual.

The financial services provider is one of the tenants in NIU’s 71 North Partnership Studio, located in the Founders Memorial Library. Among other things, the space also hosts the Office of Innovation and a legal advice service for startups.

Bredberg says: “The term ‘innovation’ encompasses a wide breadth of opportunities for our office to be involved in and develop around.

“We’re fortunate to have an amazing community of forward-thinking students, faculty and staff who have creative and innovative ideas. So you could view the Office of Innovation as a facilitator—we help turn those ideas into realities.”