Innovation and Economic Growth

Innovation is the dynamic process that links together Hawaii’s people, Hawaii’s knowledge, and our many assets to transform ideas, insights and invention into new processes, products and services.

Innovation has been part of Hawaii’s history: from the earliest Polynesian voyagers who used innovation to navigate their way over thousands of miles of open ocean, to later immigrants who transformed these islands into a Pacific trading hub. Hawaii’s early innovators created one of the world’s most desired destinations.

Innovation applies to both existing and new industries. It increases Hawaii’s standard of living through steady growth in productivity. Productivity growth depends on applying technology in ways that lower costs in order to compete – or by growing revenues through the introduction of more valuable products and services.

Innovation leads to sustainability. We will maintain our standard of living while using fewer natural resources, including land.

Innovation strengthens our economy. It will lead to new companies with higher-paying jobs in areas where Hawaii has natural competitive advantages. Existing industries benefit from access to a higher skilled workforce and solutions that increase their competitiveness.

The HI Growth Initiative is a new State investment program focused on building an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial high growth businesses and creates high wage jobs for our people. HI Growth provides $20 million of investment capital that will focus on the critical building blocks of an innovation ecosystem: entrepreneur mentoring, research commercialization, and the mobilization of startup investment capital.