Maui Business

UH Promotes Research as Strategic Advantage of Innovation Economy

January 14, 2011, 10:23 AM HST
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UH System President M.R.C. Greenwood shares recommendations of her Advisory Council on Hawai‘i Innovation and Technology Advancement on steps the university can take to promote an innovation economy for Hawai‘i.

By Sonia Isotov

The UH President’s Innovation Advisory Council released a draft report yesterday recommending the State and the University focus on research as an industry.

A key recommendation would turn already-robust research efforts into increased job opportunities and focus resources on promoting research as a key industry driver of the economy.

The report, presented for public input and review, is the result of eight months of intensive collaboration by the Advisory Council on Hawai‘i Innovation and Technology Advancement, comprised of leaders in business, government and education who were appointed to advise UH President M.R.C. Greenwood.

Greenwood presented the report during a high-level meeting in Waikīkī co-sponsored by UH and the National Academies, prestigious experts who advise the U.S. government in science, technology and economic policy. The recommendations include:

  • Identifying research as an industry in Hawai‘i;
  • Immediately establishing HiTEx (Hawai‘i Innovation Technology Exchange Institute);
  • Encouraging collaboration by integrating entrepreneurship into the university’s curriculum; and
  • Identifying four key areas to capitalize on commercialization opportunities for Hawai‘i, including Security and Sustainability: Energy and Agriculture, Data Analytics and Asian-Pacific Health.

“Innovation is a national priority and an essential driver of economic growth and future competitiveness,” said Greenwood. “The University of Hawai‘i has many successes in innovation and technology transfer, and we know we have the potential to build on those successes and create new opportunities to strengthen Hawai‘i’s economy.”


The complete report is accessible online at Public comment is welcome on the council’s recommendations, and feedback may be submitted by email to [email protected]. The deadline for feedback is February 1, 2011.

Greenwood, who thanked members of the advisory council for their work, said an implementation plan will be developed based on the feedback received.

Members of the advisory council are:

  • Dr. Carl Bonham, Executive Director, University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization and Associate Professor of Economics, UH Mānoa;
  • The Honorable Daniel Goldin, President & CEO of Intellisis Corporation and 9th NASA Administrator, retired;
  • Katharine Ku, Director, Stanford University Office of Technology Transfer;
  • Jim Lally, Partner Emeritus, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers;
  • Dr. Brian Taylor, Dean, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, UH Mānoa;
  • Barry Weinman, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Allegis Capital;
  • Dr. Mary Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Programs and Dean of Extended Studies, UC San Diego; and
  • Dr. Hank C.K. Wuh, CEO, Skai Ventures/Cellular Bioengineering, Inc.

Greenwood serves as the council’s convener, and Dr. Keiki-Pua Dancil, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Science and Technology Institute, serves as the council’s coordinator. UH Vice President for Research James Gaines and UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw serve as advisors to the council.

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