A wealth of data from EMSI played a key role in an in-depth study released recently by the Hawaii Science and Technology Council, in partnership with the Center for Regional Competitiveness, on Hawaii’s innovation and technology sector. The report highlights the private tech sector’s contribution to the state’s economy (about $3 billion in 2007) and the importance of expanding the state’s workforce to meet the future needs in fields such as computer programming and engineering, as well as more regionalized industries like ocean sciences and agricultural biotech.
The study, entitled “Innovation and Technology in Hawaii: An Economic and Workforce Profile,” was a collaborative effort between a handful of organizations, including the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the CREC (affiliated with C2ER), the University of Hawaii, and the University of Illinois. C2ER Research Manager Mark White said the goal of the report was to shed light on the Islands’ tech sector, of which “there was very little baseline information on.”
An excerpt from the report:
Hawaii has a small, but important technology sector. Relative to the rest of the U.S., Hawaii does not have a technology-intensive economy. While 3.6 percent of all workers in Hawaii are employed in the state’s technology sectors, 4.6 percent of U.S. workers are employed in those same industries nationally. However, technology-related activities in the state are growing at a rapid pace. Hawaii’s technology sector (including public- and private-sector employees) grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent between 2002 and 2007. This outpaced the U.S. growth rate of 2.3 percent for these same industries.
EMSI provided much of the data for the project when it came to (1) up-to-date industry/occupation totals and projections; (2) impact figures for Hawaii’s science and technology sector; and (3) the number of degrees the state’s education institutions handed out in tech-related programs. EMSI’s education figures were particularly useful, White said, in comparison to wading through the IPEDS database or calling individual colleges and universities to ask for the data. “It’s a real timesaver for us to have all the information handy,” he said.