Category Archives: Innovation and Technology Transfer

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.

More on the Thirty Meter Telescope reception

Jim Omura, Virginia Hinshaw, Richard Ha, Mark Yudov standing on lanai

Jim Omura, Virginia Hinshaw, Richard Ha, Mark Yudov at Washington Place

Hamakua Springs President Richard Ha shares pictures and thoughts from the Thirty Meter Telescope reception on his blog. He commends University of California, Santa Barbara, Chancellor Henry Yang for listening to the Big Island community.

That’s Richard, second from right, with Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, Jim Omura of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, left, and University of California President Mark Yudov.

Thirty Meter Telescope reception

<p>University of Hawai‘i President M.R.C. Greenwood, Sen. Daniel Inouye, UH Institute for Astronomy Director Gunther Hasinger and Irene Inouye.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

University of Hawai‘i President M.R.C. Greenwood, Sen. Daniel Inouye, UH Institute for Astronomy Director Gunther Hasinger and Irene Inouye.

<p>From left,UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, Dilling Yang, University of California System President Mark Yudof, UC Berkeley Professor Steven Beckwith, Senator Daniel and Irene Inouye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan Director General Shoken Miyama, UH System President M.R.C. Greenwood, UH Institute for Astronomy Director Gunther Hasinger, UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

From left,UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, Dilling Yang, University of California System President Mark Yudof, UC Berkeley Professor Steven Beckwith, Senator Daniel and Irene Inouye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan Director General Shoken Miyama, UH System President M.R.C. Greenwood, UH Institute for Astronomy Director Gunther Hasinger, UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau.

<p>IfA Director Hasinger and President Greenwood welcome Steven Beckwith, University of California, Berkeley vice president of research and graduate studies.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

IfA Director Hasinger and President Greenwood welcome Steven Beckwith, University of California, Berkeley vice president of research and graduate studies.

<p>From right, UH Regent Jan Naoe Sullivan, Governor Abercrombie and UH Vice President Howard Todo welcome from the international TMT consortium.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

From right, UH Regent Jan Naoe Sullivan, Governor Abercrombie and UH Vice President Howard Todo welcome from the international TMT consortium.

<p>Governor Abercrombie talks with UC President Mark Yudof, center, and California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

Governor Abercrombie talks with UC President Mark Yudof, center, and California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau.

<p>U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye addresses a reception for officials associated with the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye addresses a reception for officials associated with the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope.

<p>Ricard Ellis, CIT; Gary Sanders, TMT; Mike Bolte, UC; Suijian Xue, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Shoken Miyama, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan; Hawai&#699;i Governor Neil Abercrombie; Hideki Takami and Masanori Iye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan; Henry Yang, UC Santa Barbara; Ray Carlberg, University of Toronto; A. N. Ramaprakash, University of Pune.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

Ricard Ellis, CIT; Gary Sanders, TMT; Mike Bolte, UC; Suijian Xue, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Shoken Miyama, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan; Hawaiʻi Governor Neil Abercrombie; Hideki Takami and Masanori Iye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan; Henry Yang, UC Santa Barbara; Ray Carlberg, University of Toronto; A. N. Ramaprakash, University of Pune.

<p>University of California Observatories Director Michael Bolte, left, and Governor  Abercrombie greet Hawai‘i Congresswoman Mazie Hirono while Masanori Iye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, waits in front of TMT backdrop.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

University of California Observatories Director Michael Bolte, left, and Governor Abercrombie greet Hawai‘i Congresswoman Mazie Hirono while Masanori Iye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, waits in front of TMT backdrop.

<p>Hilo businessman Barry Taniguchi and Debbie Goodwin of the Keck Observatories were among the guests, who included representatives from Big Island and astronomy communities; federal, state and university officials;  and benefactors.</p>

TMT Reception at Washington Place

Hilo businessman Barry Taniguchi and Debbie Goodwin of the Keck Observatories were among the guests, who included representatives from Big Island and astronomy communities; federal, state and university officials; and benefactors.

Governor Abercrombie joined me in hosting partners and benefactors for the Thirty Meter Telescope project at Washington Place on Veteran’s Day.

TMT will be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth when completed in 2018 on Mauna Kea. It will allow astronomers to look back 12 billion years to watch the formation of the first stars and galaxies; probe the turbulent regions around supermassive black holes, including the one at the center of our Milky Way galaxy; and reveal details of planets around nearby stars.

Guests at the reception included officials from TMT partners California Institute of Technology, University of California and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy and participating institutions including the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Department of Science and Technology of India.

We were also delighted to see representatives of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which is providing significant funding for the project, as well as local, state, national and international leaders.

UH scientists will have guaranteed observing time on the new telescope, and the partnership has pledged $1 million a year to support education on the Big Island.

Thoughts from Vietnam

Around 120 business leaders and government officials including representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President’s office gathered at Thang Long Ballroom, Melia Hotel in the center of Hanoi on October 4 for an impressive dialogue on how to expand investment and trade and to reduce barriers to businesses through the upcoming APEC Forum in Honolulu in November. The informational seminar, APEC 2011—Exploring New Opportunities for Vietnam, was sponsored and organized by the APEC 2011 Hawaiʻi Host Committee, National Committee for International Economic Cooperation of Vietnam, Foreign Trade University, APEC Study Center, University of Hawaiʻi and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was great to be a part of such stimulating discussion.

Hoang Van Chau and M.R.C. Greenwood

I also had a chance to meet and visit with Foreign Trade University President Hoang Van Chau (left), who leads what many refer to as ”The Harvard of Vietnam.“

A group of us, including some UH alumni posed at the main entry to campus (below).

UH graduates are everywhere throughout Asia and Southeast Asia!

It is rewarding to see our students serving their home countries and peoples.

More to come from Vietnam…

Group standing by outdoor sign

From left with President Greenwood, UH Shidler Vietnam EMBA Director Tung Bui, MBA alumna Pham Thi Hong Yen, FTU President Hoang Van Chau, UH Foundation President Donna Vuchinich, UH alumna DaoThi Thu Ha and Tho Dinh Nguyen

The Sky is the Limit

It was my honor to address the recent Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference annual gathering on the island of Maui. One of the topics I covered was the continuing need to open science and related fields to more women. We’ve come a long way, but we could always be better in this area! Here’s an excerpt:

M.R.C. Greenwood at podium

“Sixty percent of the undergraduates in colleges and universities across the nation today are women. In many fields, they exceed the number of men. Although the numbers may still lag in astronomy and related disciplines, it is clear that if we want to maintain and continue to build upon our level of expertise in science and technology in the future, we must successfully engage females in the scientific fields. It is gratifying that here in Hawaiʻi we have leading programs that reach out and draw women and girls into the sciences, such as Maui’s Women in Technology Project and others. We need to recognize these trends will continue to increase, and we must continue to plan for these societal shifts or we will fall behind.”

Read the speech.

Mary Walshok and the San Diego experience

Mary Walshok gesturing while talking to a man

Mary Walshok talking with RCUH Executive Director Michael Hamnett

Member of President Greenwood’s Council on Science and Technology Mary Walshok of San Diego Connect was in town to speak to the Hawaiʻi Business Roundtable and other key corporate supporters about how the city of San Diego and specifically the University of California at San Diego helped build from scratch a strong and vibrant partnership between the business community and their institution of public higher education.

Mary helped lead the effort to develop a common sense of purpose and to revitalize a stalled economy there, lessons we could certainly put to use in the islands! As a major institution with a presence on all islands, what a role UH could play in this collective activity!

You can download Mary’s PowerPoint presentation at UH’s Innovation Initiative webpage.