Portrait of Richard Gruber, Georgia Tech

Richard Gruber

Senior Fellow, Commercialization

Richard Gruber leads the clean tech commercialization efforts at Georgia Tech. Gruber works closely with Georgia Tech researchers helping them convert their ground-breaking research into impactful companies. His role includes cultivating relationships with constituents of the broader Atlanta area, officials in the Georgia department of economic development, the national community of business leaders, angel investors, attorneys, and venture capitalists.

In close coordination with the director of Venture Lab and the broader activities of the Office of Commercialization, led by Raghupathy Sivakumar, Gruber identifies and grows commercialization of technology innovation in key areas of business strategy, fundraising, team development, and assist with startup efforts. 

Throughout his career, Gruber has been focused on the development of energy, including infrastructure, markets, policy, stakeholder processes, structured transactions, joint ventures, energy system planning and operations, and startups. Investors in Gruber’s startups include two-time investor Ted Turner through Turner Renewable Energy.

Since 2007, he has been dedicated to clean energy power plant and technology development. As the vice president of project development at First Solar, Richard spearheaded the company’s initial buildout of a multi-gigawatt solar project platform, making First Solar one of the largest solar developers in North America.

In 2017, Gruber co-founded and served as the chief commercial officer for Merit Sustainable Infrastructure (Merit SI). Merit SI develops solar microgrids for infrastructure clients and utility scale renewable projects, and, through its subsidiary Merit Controls, develops advanced power system controls for solar, battery storage, and solar-hydrogen hybrid plants.

In his role at Georgia Tech, Gruber supports commercialization efforts across the entire energy and sustainability innovation space, from energy sources to energy carriers to consumers, and the necessary supporting supply chain and software innovations required to deliver cleaner, more affordable, and reliable, central, and distributed energy solutions. Georgia Tech researchers are encouraged to reach out to Richard Gruber with questions or ideas.

Previously an “Executive in Residence” at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center, Gruber lives in Atlanta with his wife of 37 years. They have two daughters also in Atlanta, one a recent ISyE graduate of Georgia Tech, and one working with Delta.


  • Richard Gruber Joins Georgia Tech
  • Strategic Energy Institute
    Venture Lab

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