Innovate Hawaiʻi Conference Travels to Maui

October 23, 2013, 7:32 AM HST · Updated October 23, 9:37 AM
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Biennial Hawaiʻi SBIR/STTR Conference. Courtesy photo.

Biennial Hawaiʻi SBIR/STTR Conference. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Innovate Hawaiʻi’s 13th biennial Hawaiʻi conference gets underway on Oʻahu today, then travels to Maui’s Malcolm Center at the Maui Research and Technology Park on Friday, Oct. 25.

The conference is aimed at local small businesses looking to commercialize their new, innovative product.

Event organizers say public and private innovation supporters will present how-tos on achieving success through resources and lessons learned.

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New and experienced small businesses will learn how to apply for and win government grants and how to commercialize their projects.

“Small and medium-sized companies that have at least reached the prototype stage are encouraged to attend the conference, whether they have started with the [Small Business Innovation Research] program or not,” said Len Higashi, High Technology Development Corporation’s interim executive director in a media statement.

“This year’s focus is on bringing the knowledge and resources of our expert guests to support local companies— both financially and otherwise —to make their product commercially viable,” he said.

Federal speakers include representatives from the USDA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Homeland Security.

SBIR is a federal program that consists of 11 federal agencies with a combined annual budget of over $2 billion, according to event organizers. The program gives financial support to small companies and prepares them for larger federal awards.

Pat Sullivan, PhD, PE, chairman and founder of Oceanit provided a testimonial to the benefits of the program. In a press release statement he said, “The SBIR program has been a game-changer for Oceanit because the funding has allowed us to develop early stage, high-risk technologies, some of which have transitioned to government programs or have become spin-off companies that sell products.”

“HTDC’s HSBIR matching grants are the secret weapon to winning Phase II SBIR projects, giving us a decided edge against our competitors on the mainland,” he said.

Cost to attend the Maui conference is $75 and includes lunch. For more information on the Maui event, interested individuals can contact Mark Todd at 270-6803 or [email protected], and Tom Liu at 875-2340 or [email protected]

Late and walk-in registration available. Full details are available at the conference website.

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