Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 137

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




Your Committees on Higher Education and Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology, to which was referred S.B. No. 137 entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to provide express statutory authority to enable and facilitate the deployment of university educational and instructional resources, university managerial and fiscal resources, and university personnel to promote the economic health and diversification of workforce opportunities through the commercialization of inventions and discoveries generated by or at the University of Hawaii.


Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii System; Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Hawaii Business Roundtable; XLR8UH; Sultan Ventures; and one individual. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from Common Cause Hawaii and one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance, State Procurement Office, Office of Information Practices, Hawaii State Ethics Commission, Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, and Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.


Your Committees find that the Legislature has a history of authorizing and providing funds to support efforts by state agencies to promote entrepreneurial development, support research commercialization, and provide access to startup investment capital. Commercialization contributes to a more diverse workforce in the State and promotes a robust and dynamic economy.


Your Committees additionally find that the University of Hawaii is a research and teaching institution and is in a valuable position to be able to identify promising innovations and new discoveries arising from university research. In order to remain competitive with its peers, the University of Hawaii must develop its capacity to commercialize its intellectual property. Your Committees find that this measure will allow the University to undertake commercialization activity with greater legal certainty and clarity.


Your Committees have amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 137, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 137, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology,