Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Framework for Developing a Statewide Innovation Plan

Posted on Behalf of the
High Technology Development Corporation From HTDC CEO
Yuka Nagashima: HTDC started working on this document in anticipation of the State's need to have a coherent implementation plan for establishing Hawaii's innovation economy last year. This document evolved as we also accommodated the needs of other economic development practitioners and industry members hungry to find out about other states' best practices as well as their need to have all the recent Hawaii studies and publications and their recommendations related to the innovation sector in one place. The draft of this document has already aided the EPSCoR subcommittee tasked with coming up with a framework for a State tech plan, and this version has been submitted to a newly organized "tech coalition work group" by some members of the legislature who wanted to reach out to the industry to provide a constructive venue to hold discussions for best practices to plant the seeds for the innovation sectors prior to January 2010. I hope this document proves to be useful to you as you set policy for the upcoming legislative session.
Framework for Developing a Statewide Innovation Plan - PDF

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Comment by Daniel Leuck on November 23, 2009 at 11:12am
Comment by sydney yamane on November 23, 2009 at 3:06am
Innovation is a broad word and the plan would have to be very broad in order to be useful especially trying to govern it with policies. I would say that we should not be setting policies but rather guidelines if we are going to develop a plan. However, if innovation is leaning to high-technology businesses that we need to address that segment. And I do know that Hawaii has always had many failures with expanding our high-tech industry. If we dont admit and analize the many successes and failures of our high-tech industry than we cannot figure out what an innovation plan would look like. The State planners would not want to discount taxes for innovation or high-tech since it means less money for the state. However, in many successful States that are pro- high-tech industry their states offered no taxes, and even offered access to grants to low cost industrial parks and buildings. Primary goal for many high-tech industries in emerging countries were to expand the workforce and transform people to become Information Workers. We are talking about education system that creates hundreds of individuals who have technology skills. If innovation in businesses is a goal that we can talk about all level of management and observe the what new technology or creative skills that is being utilize that would constitute to be an innovation. Such as applying self served holistic care management to help single aging population live better lives in their own homes could count as innovation. Its hard to award the benefits to businesses by finding government involvement to enhanced our innovation. So we should stick with the basics and ask for partnerships, lower taxes, and less laws for innovation. If we are to nail down a panacea I would ask only for one thing.... lets enhanced the one thing that had a profound impact to our way of life and that would be faster internet. Lets promote Fiber Optics to the Premise initiative and insure that the "last-mile" is net neutral and owned thru a coop or some form of community partnership. We all know what happened when internet speed zoomed from 28kbps to 1mbps. Can we imagine what happens when we hardend and enhanced our internet from 1mbps to 1gbps. This technology enhancement cannot and should not wait for innovation to come from private industry.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on November 19, 2009 at 1:31am
Hi John - Actually there is specific legislation being proposed to assist local tech companies. One example is a 5% price preference over mainland companies on bids for state contracts. This at least compensates for the GE penalty that most companies have to pay. The construction industry has had this for years.
Comment by John on November 18, 2009 at 6:08pm
Hi Dan, I notice your top 4 focus areas does not include local Hawaii tech companies. Has the Act 221 fallout impact your focus on target segments?
Comment by Daniel Leuck on November 18, 2009 at 3:48pm
Any insight on this Dan? Is that just a side-effect of a poor business environment being passed on to the employee?
Many companies in Hawaii tend to do things on the cheap, even if the result is less than polished. The rates we get in Hawaii, with a few exceptions, are 50%-60% lower than what we get from mainland or Japanese companies. If you provide good benefits to your employees you can expect the total cost of employment to be about 1.3 times the salary you are paying. When you do the math, that doesn't leave a lot of room for good salaries.

We've taken the position of focusing on:
- The feds (they are on a spending spree)
- Hawaii's top 50 companies
- Mainland customers
- Japanese customers

For our type of company, this is the only way we can get decent cash flow and look out for our greatly valued team members.

We are also moving toward a goal of having 50% of revenue come from software licensing within a year. Hawaii is a decent place to have a software licensing business. In my opinion, its currently not that great a place for design and development services because its hard to sell quality for a fair price. There are, of course, exceptions - companies who pride themselves on quality. We are lucky to count some of them as customers.
Comment by Konstantin A Lukin on November 13, 2009 at 12:14pm
Taken from the document: innovation-based economy or any number of other monikers that emphasize that science and technology is now the driving factor for economic development.
Could not agree more with this. Science and technology has the power to transform our lives as we know it and take us into the world of tomorrow. It also has the power to 'unite' us under one 'roof' of scientific approach wisely applied to solve most immediate economic and world problems for the benefit of ALL Planet Earth inhabitants - Hawaiians included. Also hoping legislature considers this when making their next decisions about state's support for science and technology sector, and how it presently affects our everyday lives. Thank you.


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