Mike Schwenk currently is a consultant for United Western Technologies Corp. in Richland WA and the AWB Institute chair of the board. His past roles include vice president of Battelle and director of technology deployment and outreach for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland WA. He has 35 years of technical and business management experience in government, non-profit and corporate settings. During his time with Battelle/PNNL, he championed numerous efforts to move research out of the laboratory and into the hands of business. If this can best be characterized as technology-based economic development, then it is fair to say that is Mike’s passion.
In his former roles for both Battelle and PNNL, his responsibilities involved coordination of all technology transfer and economic development activities. This spanned a nationwide network of six U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories and Battelle's private laboratories at the corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Mike also served as Battelle's single point of contact for the Technology Transfer Coordinator at DOE headquarters in Washington DC.
Mike offers a unique perspective on how businesses large and small can gain access-to and benefit -from the vast resources of our national laboratory system to stimulate innovation and increase competitive advantage; he's seen it and lived it from all sides. He is a vocal advocate of private and public collaboration that pairs the best of government resources and private-sector know-how to solve the nation's most pressing challenges.
Nationally, Mike served on various boards and committees such as the Industrial Research lnstitute's Science and Technology Policy Committee, the Public Policy Advisory Committee for the International Economic Development Council, the National Academies' University Industry Demonstration Project (UIDP).
Regionally, Mike has served as an officer of the Association of Washington Business for four years and chair of the board for two years, served as the chair of the Washington Technology Center, chaired both the WSU Research Foundation and the WSU-Tri-Cities Advisory Council. Closer to home, and chaired the Three Rivers Community Roundtable and Tri-City Development Council. In 2008, he was named Tri-Citian of the Year, an annual recognition awarded to an individual in the community who has demonstrated "service above self," as well as outstanding leadership and contribution for positive development, economic growth and quality of life in the Tri Cities.