Research, innovation and the Chamber of Commerce

Jim Tollefson and MRC Greenwood

With Jim Tollefson, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

I had the pleasure of serving as a guest speaker recently for the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi’s Public Policy Series, a monthly event that features state leaders from government and business.  I was asked to update their members on our research and innovation efforts.  It was a great opportunity to share our vision for the University of Hawaiʻi to create a 21st-century capability for innovation and technology transfer and how we are enhancing our already robust research efforts to make our research enterprise a key to economic growth for the state of Hawaiʻi.

The University of Hawaiʻi is an important revenue center and economic driver for Hawaiʻi, and our research enterprise has the potential to be a $1 billion industry. It will require innovation, investment and collaboration to achieve this goal. Crucial to this effort are partnerships with our business community, many of whom are members of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.  We’re grateful for their support as we all work together to strengthen and diversify our economy.

I was especially gratified to have a couple of business leaders express to me afterward their willingness to support us somehow. “What can we do to help you?” one asked. “If you think we’re doing a good job, tell everyone you know!” I said. “And help us remind the public how important a public higher education institution is to our state’s future.”

See more pictures from the event.