December 17, 2009

Chamber Study Highlights Hawaii’s Innovative Contributions

U.S. Chamber Releases Study on Importance of Intellectual Property in All 50 States


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report  highlighting Hawaii’s contributions to America’s innovation economy. This study is part of GIPC’s State Fact Sheets, which provide a look at the roles innovation and creativity play in each state. The report highlights local companies and facts demonstrating how innovation and creativity—which are safeguarded by strong IP rights—serve as a driving force behind economic recovery and future growth.

“Innovation and creativity are vital to Hawaii’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. Hawaii innovators received 1,866 trademarks and at least 814 patents since 2000. Additionally, $3 billion, or five percent of Hawaii’s Gross State Product, is accounted for by science and technology development.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Hawaii. The Aloha State was awarded a grant of $500,000 from the National Governors Association to advance science, technology, engineering, and math education. This two-year grant will support the state’s Innovation Initiative which focuses on developing the state’s human capital and decreasing its reliance on land development. Additionally, the number of Hawaiian businesses involved in the creation, distribution, or performance of copyrighted works grew to more than 2,900 in 2008, marking an increase of 3.7 percent from the previous year.

“Indeed, Hawaiians are proven innovators,” said Esper. Hawaii-born Henry Ginaca designed a machine that could automatically peel and core pineapples in 1911. The Ginaca machine exponentially increased pineapple production and revolutionized the fruit canning industry. “America has a unique story to tell, and Hawaii plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Hawaii’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The Hawaii State Fact Sheet is intended to be a resource for legislators, policymakers, and the public to identify successful companies, inventors, creative artists, and innovators to better understand the role they play in our economy and society. As part of an easy-to-use, interactive map, the State Fact Sheet project can be accessed online at, as well as in a printable format.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

For more information, please contact Trinh Nguyen at 202-463-5379.

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