Governor Lingle Pushes Innovation Program

(KHNL) - It took the robotics team at Mckinley High School six weeks to build a robot for an international competition. Governor Lingle said the state needs more students interested in that kind of innovation.

"It has been proven empirically that students who have those kinds of skills do better in school, are able to enter the fields of science and engineering, technology," Lingle said.

Lingle said she wants to develop academies within Hawaii's school system focused on science, technology, engineering and math. She also wants to create scholarships at in-state universities for students in those programs.

"Why is innovation so important?" Lingle said. "It is important because we believe it is the key to sustainability."

The governor said focusing on science and technology will transform Hawaii's economy.

"The kind of sustainability we're talking about is to improve our standard of living while preserving our lifestyle here in Hawaii and diminishing our dependence on developing land as the basis of our economy," Lingle said.

She also wants to invest in a digital media center and a state-run innovation center in Kakaako. Lingle also pushed for a $100 million fund to support local innovation companies using money from the state's retirement program.

"It will cause the creation of new companies to be formed with higher paying jobs in areas where we have a natural competitive advantage," Lingle said.