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Governor signs bills to encourage economic development and innovation

July 12, 2012
The Maui Weekly

On June 27, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law bills aimed at promoting economic and high technology development in the state. Among the measures enacted include House Bill (HB) 2319, Relating to Economic Development, and HB 2873, Relating to The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES).

HB 2319 establishes a $2 million venture accelerator funding program under the Hawai'i Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) to help the state's technology start-ups compete for investment capital. The program will assist in the growth of technology businesses in the state, including areas such as information technology, aerospace, science, renewable energy, engineering, and film and digital media production.

"The creation of the venture accelerator funding program provides an urgently needed means of supporting emerging high-tech businesses in Hawai'i," said Senate Committee on Economic Development and Technology Chair Carol Fukunaga in a statement. "It represents an important phase of HSDC's transition into a more hands-on, working entity rather than solely for disbursements to venture funds."

Looking ahead into the future of innovation and tourism, HB 2873 transfers the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) from the University of Hawai'i to the state Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism's Office of Aerospace Development, establishes a PISCES board of directors, and appropriates funds. This measure will give PISCES the flexibility necessary to operate effectively within the rapidly evolving aerospace sector while keeping Hawai'i competitive and attractive to space industry partners.



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