January, 2004

Why should you care about the University of Hawaii? Your very existence could depend upon it. There is groundbreaking research taking place at the UH of a nature that could well save planet earth one day, or maybe cure cancer.

Perhaps more importantly, the University of Hawaii affects your immediate quality of life. The University of Hawaii is an economic driver of our economy. A 2000 study by economics professor James Mak found that the University of Hawaii either directly or indirectly generated $1.6 billion of business sales and $1.1 billion of income to households in 1999.

Bank of Hawaii economist Paul Brewbaker says, according to conventional economic models, educational services have the highest multiplier of any industry, in terms of generating dollars for Hawaii’s economy. Those models show that every dollar flowing into this sector generates up to $2.10 for the Hawaii economy.

As freelance writer Alex Salkever notes in this special section, this means that in 2003, total extramural funding of $324 million to the University of Hawaii theoretically accounted for $679 million flowing out from the university and into Hawaii’s economy. Since research funding to the UH has been increasing by double-digits the past several years, it is packing an increasingly more powerful punch.

The following special report details the diversity of some of the exciting and lucrative projects that have recently been funded at the University of Hawaii. The sheer size and scope of some of these is breathtaking, such as the $50-million Institute for Astronomy research project to spot killer asteroids, while other, smaller, projects have the impact of hitting closer to home, such as the research being done on the possible use of noni to alleviate cancer symptoms.

The University of Hawaii is the sponsor of this special report. All stories were reported and edited independently of the sponsor. It looks as if the UH is on track to have an even greater economic impact in the future, due to projected increased extramural funding, in 2004. I don’t know about you, but I hope the astronomers working on the project to spot killer asteroids, get all the money (and coffee) that they need.


Kelli Abe Trifonovitch
Hawaii Business

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Kelli Abe-Trifonovich