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Economic Innovation

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This is kind of an interesting article...

Hawaii's Governor Linda Lingle offers initiatives aimed at economic innovation

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

$30.7 million would go toward education and an economic shift

Economic initiatives include establishing an Asia-Pacific International Research Center and creating a digital media center that would provide facilities for pre- and post-production work on film, TV and other media.

Gov. Linda Lingle proposed a series of initiatives today (Friday) to spur innovation and help Hawai'i's economy move beyond land-based development toward more creative science and technology industries.

Her plan, released at an afternoon news conference at the state Capitol, has components for education, the economy, workforce development, global links, and innovation in state government.

The governor called for several new education academies where students would study science, technology, engineering and math through a project-based curriculum. The academies would be administered by the University of Hawai'i and would also supervise the existing robotics activities at several public schools.

A separate academy, modeled after existing academies tailored for construction industry studies, would also center on science and technology and would promise graduating students who want to pursue the subjects four-year scholarships to state or private colleges in the Islands.

The state would measure the success of the initiative based on whether the number of incoming college students who need remedial help declines.

The governor's plan also proposes partnerships with other government and private interests to promote innovation in the economy.

The state, for example, would lease portions of a new Asia-Pacific research center in Kaka'ako that would concentrate on life sciences. It would lease warehouse space for a digital media center that could attract television and film projects. And it would work with Honolulu Community College on a music program that could become an incubator for aspiring musicians and production workers.

Lingle would also create incentives for workers and employees to set aside money in lifelong learning accounts to upgrade job skills and create a rapid-response training program to deal with unexpected disruptions in the job market, such as the closing of the Del Monte plantation in Kunia.

In addition, the governor also proposes establishing advisory councils on innovation and on Asia-Pacific development.

Lingle also said she would try to revive an innovation special fund to support life sciences, advanced technology and renewable energy that was pushed last session by state House Speaker Calvin Say, D-20th (St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Wilhelmina Rise).

"We're going to put a full-court press on it during the session," Lingle told the Advertiser's editorial board yesterday in a briefing on her plan.

Many of the initiatives have been proposed in some form by state lawmakers in the past. But Lingle said she hopes for more of an impact by integrating the ideas into a comprehensive plan.

**I think that there are some good ideas there and would be a great move for Hawaii's economy especially if it were to capitalize on its centralized location as a gathering place for learning, collaboration, etc with the Pacific Rim countries. But there have been many other wonderful ideas like this and no real progress, yet.

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