Staff Profile

Robert L. Adams
Executive Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Sustainable AgTech Innovation Center

Robert L. Adams provides mentoring, assistance and counsel to help researchers and early-stage entrepreneurs—including graduates of the Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy and select other teams across the UC Davis campus—take their start-up companies to the next level. 

Adams also grows and maintains a network of academic, industry and professional organizations to help support the development of new ventures in sustainable agricultural practices; water and energy efficiency in production and food processing; advances in nutrition, food quality and safety; and new food products.

Adams also serves as the director of business partnerships at Sustainable Conservation (San Francisco), and consulted and lectured internationally on sustainability, innovation and transformation for nearly 10 years. From 2003–2009 he led the Design for Sustainability initiative at IDEO, one of the world’s leading design and innovation consultancies, where he is currently an IDEO Fellow. Adams is the author of the 2001 formative white paper, “Designing Towards Sustainability.”

Adams has taught at Stanford University, London’s Royal College of Art and UC Davis, developing and teaching courses in product design, technology and aesthetics, human-computer interaction, music and viticulture.

He holds advanced degrees in viticulture from UC Davis and in product design from Stanford University. His undergraduate training was in mechanical engineering and product design at Stanford University. Adams also owns and operates a farm in California’s Sacramento Valley, where he produces heritage fruits and vegetables, grains and olive oil.

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