Turning UH Research Into Local Industries

University of Hawaii Innovation Council

A seemingly insignificant decision just around the corner for University of Hawaii Board of Regents could have huge ramifications for the university and the state. It has the potential to help cure the university's money woes, revive the university's research community and stimulate the local economy, too.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood have both emphasized the university's potential to become a bigger economic driver. In his State of the State address on Jan. 24, Abercrombie said that "research programs at the University will play a big part in our economic recovery by bringing external dollars into our state and building innovative industries."

Toward that end, last year Greenwood established an eight-member University of Hawaii Innovation Council to advise on how the university could stimulate "a multi-billion dollar industry for Hawaii research spin-off and related services."

The goal is to turn the $450 million that the university receives in research funds into sustainable, local industries. It's a compelling idea at a time when state coffers are shrinking and support for public universities drying up with it.

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