May 02, 2017

Hirono Announces Federal Funding to Establish the Kauai Creative Technology Center

An incubator for creative industries, it is estimated to create at least 160 new jobs

Washington, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today announced $100,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to support the Kauai Economic Development Board’s (KEDB’s) creation of the Kauai Creative Technology Center. 

“Creative industries have a critical role to play in helping to ensure that Kauai is able to support the diverse and sustainable job market it needs to compete in today’s global economy,” said Senator Hirono. “The development of the Kauai Creative Technology Center will offer the opportunity to connect across the state and around the world, increasing our creative reach and generating economic growth potential.”

Once developed, the center will serve as an incubator for creative industries that will stimulate economic growth and create sustainable jobs on the island of Kauai.

It is estimated that the center will create at least 160 jobs, which will help Kauai diversify its economy and create new opportunities.

“KEDB is honored to receive news of this award,” said KEDB President and CEO Susan Tai Kaneko. “We truly appreciate the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s support of our Kauai Creative Technology (KCTC) project. Thanks to U.S. EDA’s funding, as well as the ongoing support of our Hawaii legislators and partners, we will continue to strengthen and develop existing and new businesses in the creative industries space, particularly in creative technologies. The KCTC will be the nexus to bridge our local talent with high caliber training, education, and networking. This is truly very exciting.”

KEDB is a non-profit, member based organization that has received the support of state, county, and private sector partners who are committed to diversifying Kauai’s economy and providing educational opportunities for youth entering the workforce.

“This is wonderful news, and I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Commerce and Sen. Mazie Hirono’s office for their tremendous support of the Tech Center! This grant will enable KEDB to continue its momentum on a project that ties in to what the County is set to achieve with our TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) projects in the revitalization of L?hu‘e Town Core, and creation of Ladders of Opportunity for our residents. I look forward to the day when our young people that are immersed in media production will be able to continue to develop and expand their creative talents at the hub of creative industries and community activity on Kaua‘i,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.

“I was so pleased to hear of KEDB’s EDA Grant Award after all the hard work that went into their application. Having worked on film tourism for Kauai for the past 25 years, I hope the Kauai Creative Technology Center will bring Kauai to a new level in the creative industries field,” said Sue Kanoho, executive director for the Kauai Visitors Bureau and KEDB Board Member.

“This is great news,” said George Costa, director of the County of Kauai Office of Economic Development and KEDB Board Member. “The Kauai Creative Technology Center is one of those projects that is a community effort which came about during the creation of the Kauai Economic Development Plan – Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) 2005-2015, 13 years ago. Several members of the Kauai community were involved in the CEDS process and created focus groups for the six emerging industry clusters that helped direct the CEDS in diversifying our economy. What started out as a film center/digital media center and production facility in 2004-05, has now become this great project and vision that will provide a facility for our students and aspiring writers and producers here on Kauai today.”

The center will facilitate technology commercialization through partnerships with Kauai Community College and the broader University of Hawaii system. In addition, it will improve information technology infrastructure by serving as a terminal for the state’s broadband initiative.

For more information about the center, click here.