Interview with Robbie Melton
New Executive Director and CEO of HTDC talks technology in Hawaii
From Transform Hawaii Government June, 2014
As the new executive director and CEO of the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), Robbie Melton sees potential in Hawaii for the development of a technology industry to help diversify the state’s economy.
But first, she says, we need to move away from paper-based processes within state government. “As long as we are using decades old technology, it’s harder to build a technology based economy,” said Melton in a recent interview with Transform Hawaii Government.
She points to HTDC still relying on carbon paper and typewriters to draft communications with the state, which she says causes more work in the end for her staff. “Coming from the mainland, things are different – everything is computerized. For example, the federal government doesn't event accept hard copy applications for grants.”
In just four months at the helm of the state agency, Melton has seen first-hand some of the technology talent in Hawaii. “To get the state more streamlined is good for our industry and we have some very bright companies here in Hawaii who can help support that change.”
HTDC was established as a state agency in 1983 to provide resources that support Hawaii’s commercial high technology industry. Today, the agency supports numerous programs including the Manoa Innovation Center, Maui Research and Technology Center, technology incubation programs and more.
Melton’s vision includes expanding the agency’s reach on neighbor islands, especially Kauai and Hawaii Island, and helping not only small and medium, but also large technology companies be successful in Hawaii.
“We say technology is everywhere, in every aspect of our lives. Anything done differently, creatively, is innovation,” she said.
Learn more about HTDC by visiting http://www.htdc.org/.