Two Tech Groups Meet with Legislators

January 5th, 2010
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It just so happens that in the next two weeks, before the opening of the 2010 session, there are two important programs which will allow tech industry representatives to present their initiatives and legislative requests to cognizant members of the legislature.

One is the Energy Policy Forum presentation from 10:00 a.m. to noon on January 8th at the Auditorium in the Capitol Building, and the other is the ThinkTech-HVCA Crucible 2010 program from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. on January 19th at the Plaza Club downtown.

The notable thing is that industry, which was somewhat fragmented last year, is back again and together, in prepared programs with organized presentations, to inform and request action by the legislature on their initiatives. It all seems to signify a new and better time for industry, and a new energy (no pun) that will hopefully move us forward.

Are these to programs redundant? You’ll only know if you attend both, but as you can see from the agenda listings shown below the Energy Policy Briefing is focused on and limited to energy issues, while Crucible 2010 covers a wider range of tech activities.

We surely hope these programs go well, and that they are well received and acted upon by the legislature. We think programs of this nature are essential to develop and maintain a productive relationship among industry, the administration and the legislature, and that they should be a continuing part of the pre-opening proceedings this and every session.

ENERGY POLICY BRIEFING

This faced-paced event, “Energy Fuels our Hawai‘i Economy,” organized by the Energy Policy Forum, will focus on key industry needs for the 2010 session. As before, Sharon Miyashiro of the Forum is the primary organizer, with lots of support from her friends.

After my welcoming remarks, Representative Hermina Morita, Chair of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee (EEP) will provide her opening remarks. Ted Peck of DBEDT will report on Recent Developments in Clean Energy, all to be followed by updates from three of Hawaii's Energy Pacesetters (TBA).

The second part of the program will involve presentation of the initiatives recommended by the Energy Policy Forum and its representatives. Carl Freedman will discuss “Sustaining Energy Leadership,” Darren Kimura will discuss “Maximizing Energy Efficiency,” and Kelly King and Mark Duda will discuss “Advancing Energy Incentives.” The closing remarks will be presented by Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee (ENE).

After Q&A, the third part of the program will involve continued discussion with energy experts in the top growth sectors on the 4th Floor Concourse in the Capitol. Attendees will be able to visit with these experts and learn how they are bringing their projects to reality, creating jobs and building a clean energy future for our state.

These experts include Kelly King on Biofuel; Rick McQuain on Biomass; John Ishikawa on Concentrating Solar Power; Duane Ashimine on Energy Efficiency; Brian Goldstein on Electrical Vehicle; Michael Kaleikini on Geothermal; Ray Starling on Hydro Power; Reb Bellinger on Ocean Energy; Sharon Ishikawa on the Smart Grid; Rick Reed on Solar Hot Water; Mark Duda on Solar Photovoltaic; Carlito Caliboso; Ted Peck and Dean Nishina on Public Leadership; Lance Tanaka on Transportation Fuels; and Noe Kalipi on Wind.

What a group! These energy sectors represent an estimated $1.3 billion in Hawai‘i project revenue over the next five years. And you can ask them any question. What a great way to get educated and excited about energy. Just come to the Capitol Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. this Friday, January 8th.

CRUCIBLE 2010

This is a ThinkTech-HVCA program designed to hammer out Tech Initiatives for the 2010 session, especially financing in the wake of Act 221. It involves a broad based group of tech industry and government participants organized with the encouragement and support of Senator Carol Fukunaga and Representative Angus McKelvey. It is different in that regard from previous programs of this nature. In fact, industry and various government officials have collaborated on these issues since September 2009.

After my welcoming remarks, Bill Spencer of HVCA will report on “The State of Tech: Jobs and So Much More” and Keiki-Pua Dancil, the new CEO of the Hawaii Science and Technology Council will address the group on “Hawaii’s Future in Technology.”

Senator Fukunaga and Representative McKelvey, after having worked hard to bring the industry together and elicit view from the industry and government, will report on the status of efforts by the “Tech Coalition Workgroup” that has been meeting at the Capitol.

Then down to specific recommendations by an all-star cast. David Watumull and Karl Fooks will present initiatives on General Financing; Mark Gilbert and Yuka Nagashima will present on Enabling Environment; John Chock and Ian Kitajima will present initiatives on the R&D Credit; Darren Kimura and Ted Peck will present on Renewable Technology; and Ric Galindez and Nancy Grekin will present on Creative Media.

Bill Spencer and I will then wrap up with present closing remarks. This program is important in view of the vacuum left by the contentions we experienced in the 2009 session, but also because of the fiscal difficulties widely anticipated in the 2010 session.

Cheers to Carol Fukunaga and Angus McKelvey for their support of the industry and thanks to the various members of the coalition for their diligence in carving out new initiatives, and kudos to the presenters for their skill and courage in presenting them.

It’s not clear exactly what the presenters will be recommending or what bills they will suggest to the legislators who attend, what kind of Q&A will be elicited, or for that matter what kind of response or drama those legislators will provide for the program.

We can only hope that these initiatives will be appealing, the attendees will be receptive, and that this program will gain some meaningful traction for the session to follow.

After the presentations, there will be Libation and Bonding providing a major network opportunity. You can reserve a place by calling HVCA at 262-7329 or ThinkTech at 524-0544, or email Bill Spencer at bspencer@hawaii.rr.com or me at fidell@lava.net

If you want to know what‘s going on in tech and energy these days, or if you want to prepare for what is expected to be an interesting session, sign up for both programs. After all, what other discussions could be more important to the future of our state?

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One Response to “Two Tech Groups Meet with Legislators”

  1. zzzzzz:

    I think that should be Jon, not John, Ishikawa.