Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Neil Abercrombie unveils Technology and Innovation plan, calls for infusion of technology to create jobs and diversify economy

Neil Abercrombie today unveiled his Technology and Innovation Plan, the latest in a series of policy papers outlining his priorities as a gubernatorial candidate.

“We need to weave technology and innovation into our economy to grow new businesses, raise productivity and create good jobs,” said Abercrombie. “But it can only happen by building a disciplined policy that brings together the Office of the Governor, the Legislature, the university system, the private sector, and communities.”

Abercrombie cited recent efforts to dismantle and renege on tax incentives for technology-related investments in Hawaii companies. “This sudden change in state policy sent the absolute worst message to businesses, investors, and the talented people we need in Hawaii,” he said.

The Abercrombie Plan on Technology and Innovation outlined seven key elements:

1. Tax incentives for investments and support for capital formation

2. Build tech development and commercialization centers

3. Appoint Chief Information Officer to redesign government systems

4. Establish Innovation Labs in public schools

5. Integrate University of Hawaii technology transfer initiatives with private businesses

6. Establish Technology Council to design and monitor technology policy

7. Improve government process to support businesses

Jeff Hong, principal consultant with Microsoft Consulting Services Hawaii, endorsed the Abercrombie Plan. “Neil recognizes the leadership to create innovative and sustainable business practices in both the private and public sectors must start from the Office of the Governor,” he said. “The Abercrombie Plan gives investors and technology professionals the necessary support to build a business base in Hawaii.”

"Its great to finally see a coherent holistic tech strategy from a gubernatorial candidate,” said Dan Leuck, president of Ikayzo, which provides IT and software development services for Bank of America, Nomura Securities and the Army Corps of Engineers and local government agencies.

“The Abercrombie Plan shows solid understanding of the lessons learned from a 30-year effort to diversify Hawaii’s economy,” said David Fisher, principal consultant of Maui Venture Consulting. “What’s particularly important is the recognition of the need for education and involvement for all ages and sectors of our society.”

Take a look at the plan and provide your feedback.

This announcement of Abercrombie’s technology and innovation platform is the latest in a series of major policy positions from the Abercrombie for Governor campaign. Abercrombie has unveiled plans for education reform, early childhood investment, energy independence and promoting small business and entrepreneurship. They are available on his website at

[Disclosure: The above is the official press release from the Neil Abercrombie for Governor campaign. I am the Social Media Director for AFG.]

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Comment by Brian on June 25, 2010 at 6:05pm

That's what they try to do now. It's a huge mess/disaster/catastrophe.

I also have to point out the hilarity of the 'state system' being a large enough economy to support this kind of thing. Maybe it should be smaller? Crazy thought.
Comment by Branden Tanga on June 25, 2010 at 5:30pm
I'm not so sure that SaaS is a good idea for infrastructure in this case. There's a difference between having to call a vendor for support per the terms negotiated in the contract vs being able to walk down the hall and actually talk to the sys admin/engineer.

I believe our state system is a large enough economy unto itself, that if there truly was a drive to streamline our state IT system, there would be enough money available to hire and have that expertise in house.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on June 25, 2010 at 11:38am
There are a lot of great points in this plan - creation of a state CIO position, the tech council, innovation labs in schools, etc. The two things I'd like to see added are:
1) A move away from having IT infrastructure hosted on site. Use of SaaS for IT infrastructure would save the state millions. It comes down to expertise and economies of scale. The large SaaS providers are experts at this. The state is not.
2) A policy that favors the use of open source software where appropriate, especially for back-end systems and web apps.


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