SSTI Digest

Geography: Hawaii

Hawaii’s Investment in State TBED Agencies to Increase Dramatically in Proposed Budget

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has submitted her budget proposal to the state legislature for the fiscal biennium 2007-09, including significant increase in the amount allocated for certain state economic development entities. The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), a state agency that develops and supports Hawaii’s science and technology resources, would grow from average annual expenditures of $4.2 million in the 2005-07 biennium cycle to $9.8 million in the next cycle. Projects funded by HTDC include providing matching grants for Hawaii-based companies receiving SBIR funds, administering high-tech incubators across the state and the state’s MEP program, and managing a renewable energy development initiative.


The Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) also would see a marked change going from a $246,500 budget in fiscal year 2005-06 and $4.3 million in FY 2006-07, up to a proposed $9 million in FY07-08 and $6.9 million in FY08-09. The primary goal of the HSDC is to provide investment capital to Hawaii-based businesses, such as seed capital and venture capital.


The proposed 2007-09 budget contains detailed information about each department, including the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, and can be found at:

Hawaii Commission Recommends Greater Accountability for High-Tech Investment Tax Credit Program

A recent report from Hawaii’s Tax Review Commission recommends the state eliminate or drastically overhaul its five-year old tax credit for high-tech investors. According to the report, the current credit provides no clear advantage to the state and appears open to taxpayer abuse. The commission was particularly troubled by the lack of data provided by taxpayers who were approved for the credit and by the lack of transparency concerning the credit within the state’s Department of Taxation.


A review undertaken on behalf of the commission was unable to determine the effectiveness of the credit, due to insufficient data on its cost to the state and its impact on state high-tech industries. This lack of transparency led the commission to suggest the Hawaii credit may be a ‘black hole’ for tax revenues, and propose legislative changes that would restructure the credit as a program of grants administered by a state agency.


The Tax Review Commission concluded that the state’s high-tech industries would be better served by a program of grants administered by a state agency, which could better oversee the state’s technology efforts. Barring such a change, the report recommends the tax credit:

People & Organizations

Yuka Nagashima was named executive director of Hawaii's High Technology Development Corporation.

$120M Investment Fund Fails in Hawaii Legislature

Efforts to capitalize Hawaii's $120 million State Private Investment Fund (SPIF) collapsed Friday as a joint conference committee of the state legislature could not reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of the measure. Passage of Senate Bill 1695 was one of Gov. Linda Lingle's top economic development priorities for this legislative session.

Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Two Bills to Encourage VC Investment

To encourage investment in high tech companies, the Hawaii Senate recently passed Senate Bill 1695, authorizing $120 million for the State Private Investment Fund (SPIF) and Senate Bill 1696 to allow fiduciaries to make equity investments.

TBED Organizations & People Update

Robert Rosner, chief scientist for the Argonne National Laboratory, will be the lab's new director.

Tech Talkin' Govs 2005, Part Four

The first three installments of SSTI's annual look at how TBED will play in the 2005 legislative priorities of the governors can be found in the Digest archives on our website:

High-Tech Tax Credit Bill Renewed with Minor Revisions

Amid criticism from taxpayers, legislators in Hawaii agreed to renew the widely debated bill that extends high-technology tax credit for another five years, without a provision requiring the disclosure of companies that receive the credits, the Honolulu Advertiser recently reported.

Tech Talkin' Govs III

This is the third in a series of articles as SSTI continues its look at the prominence of tech-based economic development in the Inaugural, State of the State and Budget Addresses given by the nation's governors. Highlights from this week's speeches are provided below.

Hawaii's HTDC Announces Statewide Incubation Services Program

Secures State as Pilot Site for FastTrac™

Coming soon to an island near you — business development services. That could be the sales pitch for a new development within the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), Hawaii's lead tech-based economic development agency.

Hawaii's HTDC Launches New Tech Portal

Earlier this week, the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) launched, the state's newest and most comprehensive high technology web portal. A collaboration with the Hawaii Technology Trade Association, the site provides a single point of access to information about Hawaii's technology industry, including business and technology resources, job listings, events and news articles.

Tech Bills Pass on Last Days of Hawaii Legislative Session

A number of bills to strengthen Hawaii's science and technology standing were passed during the final days of the legislative session.