UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood says Guam needs to begin looking at another way to fuel the island economy that is outside of the realm of tourism and the military.
Guam – Dr. Robert Underwood told Rotarians that tourism and the military are the only two economic drivers that Guam has relied on for the past five decades and it is now time to look towards a third industry. He says Guam is too small for industries based around things like manufacturing. In fact, Underwood points out that even China is moving away from manufacturing. He believes this new industry should revolve around knowledge, creativity, and intellectual property.
“Something that we’re generating knowledge [in] either in biotech or information technology or even research on healthcare. Anything that helps us to generate a new economic activity that’s based on knowledge,” said Underwood.
The UOG President says that the University could and should play a vital role in this new industry through facilitating research. “So, if we do research and we engage with a company we engage with a company and we give them a tax credit and then they can take the research and make it commercially applicable. So, what happens is they engage the research capacity and actually enhance the research capacity of the University and then you create positions and economic activity that is at a really high level,” said Underwood adding, “Some new product or some new technique or some new way to deal with a health crisis or new way even to deal with a social crisis that allows people to say wow we can do that we can be a model for that we can patent that we can make that work.”
Underwood says that knowledge based industries that focus on innovation and imagination are the wave of the future especially during this information age.