Maui Business

New INNOVATE Program Focuses on Commercializing Small Business

September 10, 2012, 8:29 AM HST
* Updated September 10, 12:13 PM
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The Maui Research and Technology Center is a technology center and business incubator managed by HTDC in Kihei. Photo courtesy of HTDC.

By Sonia Isotov

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) recently announced the creation of INNOVATE Hawaii, a combination of the former Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research (HSBIR) and Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) programs.

“This new entity hopes to maximize the resources of both former programs with an emphasis on helping small businesses create innovative projects that may be useful for federal programs, with an aim for future commercialization,” said Yuka Nagashima, the executive director of the corporation, in a written statement.

“INNOVATE Hawaii will offer state matching grants and assistance to small businesses with a mission to create, build, and grow.”

The program will expand on previous initiatives that begin with initial funding which leads to further development and attracts private investors and commercialization.


In 2011, Federal MEP clients had a combined increase in sales of $12.5 million and created 74 new jobs.


“INNOVATE Hawaii will continue to support the development and growth of the local commercial high tech industry, manufacturing community, and Governor Abercrombie’s New Day Initiative,” Nagashima said.

“[It] unites HSBIR and HTDC-MEP to form a new program that honors previous goals, while focusing on innovation and next generation products.”

In addition, the program is accepting application (until June 30, 2013) from businesses consultants interested in offering various business services to the HTDC-MEP program and its clients.


Business consultants, technology service providers and more can apply by visiting the state’s Procurement Notices for Solicitation website and search for RFP-13-004-HTDC.

INNOVATE Hawaii is also offering free one-hour consultation with one of these business development experts.

To learn more about INNOVATE Hawaii, call (808) 539-3806 or visit:

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