Thursday, April 18, 2013

Business Breakfast with PISCES

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems
is an international research and education center dedicated to
sustaining life on the moon and beyond. Recent agreements
have added new breath to the organization, fostering business
developments in Hawaii.
This morning I had the chance to attend a breakfast conversation organized by Hui Ka Ua with a special talk given by Rob Kelso, the new Executive Director of PISCES. Since I have been doing some work this semester with the LADEE project under the auspices of PISCES, this was a great opportunity to see what some of the future plans and developments are with PISCES, especially with regard to the Big Island. Indeed, since this was partly a talk organized by a business organization, much of the information that Kelso conveyed was focused on the local business developments that will arise as the result of the PISCES work now being done. Highlighting all of this was a press release from PISCES that was handed out before-hand which talks about the six new Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) that have been signed with various governments and organizations throughout the world that will funnel jobs and technology back to Hawaii. Rob Kelso, from the press release:
Many of the initiatives involve robotics, construction material research, renewable energy and telecommunications. The benefit will not only be technologies for use on planetary surfaces, but also innovative technologies that can have immediate application for the Hawaii economy and the general well-being of the State.
The MOUs span a variety of technologies but all gravitate around the blossoming aerospace industry on Hawaii, including 3D printing technologies and other advanced fabrication techniques. Kelso didn't address any of these directly but spoke more in general terms about how Hawaii is very well situated for future international developments, pinpointing the centrality in the Pacific, the unique environmental conditions on Big Island (a lot of time spent here), the fact that there are two international airports, two deep-sea ports, and a variety of power generation mechanisms (think geothermal).

Interestingly, Kelso mentioned plans for such things as an aerospace technology park on Big Island, a multitude of conferences and educational drives, and all around exhibited a lot of energy about the project. Opening his talk, Kelso also mentioned how he was learning the etymologies of 'Haole' and 'Aloha' and talked about how he wanted to arrive (as a foreigner to the state) but wanted to be welcomed into the island and to really have PISCES be an organization that works with the peoples and future of Hawaii, rather than one that merely utilizes the resources. Very apt as an opening, as it is precisely a new and fresh breath that PISCES has been given ("the first MOU's [sic] in five years for PISCES") with his arrival. As someone who is trying to be involved with PISCES long-term, it is personally exciting to see some progress and change being made and it was great to be able to attend this morning session. Mahalo to Hui Ka Ua and PISCES for organizing the event.