Lingle Announces Hawaii Innovation Initiative

State government initiatives include all state permitting to be online by the year 2010, upgrade state functions through a digital paperless network, expanding wireless broadband service on all islands and free Internet service in public areas of state buildings, libraries and schools.

by / January 15, 2007
State government initiatives include all state permitting to be online by the year 2010, upgrade state functions through a digital paperless network, expanding wireless broadband service on all islands and free Internet service in public areas of state buildings, libraries and schools.

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle last Friday announced a comprehensive new Innovation Initiative for the state, designed to create a firm economic foundation in the new global economy.

"Hawaii's continued prosperity and ability to improve our standard of living and way of life over the long-term requires reducing our dependence on land as the chief driver of economic development," said Lingle. "We need to focus on developing our people, recognizing that our future economic success and sustainability depends upon innovation and new ideas that will enable us to create more high-paying quality jobs that capitalize on people's skills and talents."

The governor outlined a set of five interrelated policy components that she plans to introduce in the upcoming legislative session. There are over 20 different initiatives in the plan that focus on innovation in education, Innovation in the economy, innovation in the workplace, innovation in linking Hawaii to the global economy, and innovation in state government.

The administration has included $30 million over two years in its proposed biennium budget to fund the innovation initiatives. The funds will be leveraged with existing programs in state government, universities and the private sector.

Other proposed new Innovation Economy projects include:
  • State support for a life sciences and biotech research facility and technology incubator in Kaka'ako.
  • A digital media center for the development of a local film and digital media sector.
  • A new program based on the successful "Nashville" model from Belmont University Center (MELE -- Music Enterprise Learning Experience) to build the technical and business skills of Hawaii's artists in the music industry.
  • A $100 million professionally-managed Hawaii Innovation Fund.
Lingle will also call on state government to lead innovation by example by improving government efficiencies and productivity. These include all state permitting to be online by the year 2010, upgrade state functions through a digital paperless network, expanding wireless broadband service on all islands and offer free Internet service in public areas of state buildings, libraries and schools.
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