The University of Hawai‘i (UH) is recognized for its distinctive strengths in earth and ocean sciences, astronomy, evolutionary biology, energy research and its growing strength in environmental sciences.  UH brings in hundreds of millions in research dollars in these areas creating opportunities to generate cutting edge discoveries and intellectual property that have great potential, economic value and significant societal benefits.

Through the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative, UH has recently taken on a greater role to help diversify the state’s economy by building a thriving innovation, research, education and training enterprise.  The economy of Hawai‘i is highly dependent on the tourism sector and military spending.  To help diversify the state’s economic portfolio, the business community has identified research and innovation as a third economic sector to be developed.  As the largest research enterprise in the state, UH is essential to achieving this goal and plays a critical role in the education and training of the state’s workforce in this vital sector.  The goal of this bold and proactive initiative is to build a thriving research enterprise that will be driven by the growth of new industries including a robust advanced manufacturing community in Hawai‘i—fueled by UH’s plans to aggressively commercialize its research and to employ and develop top researchers in several focus areas over the next decade.

University of Hawai‘i students will have the opportunity to be exposed to the entrepreneurial skills necessary to be successful in all fields.  As a potential result from this initiative, UH students may benefit from employment opportunities related to job creation and workforce demand.  The increase in research activity and funding, as well as the related increase in workforce development and training; will contribute greatly to UH’s key role in helping to boost the state’s economy through the initiative.

The Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative is one of four priorities set forth in the University of Hawai‘i’s Strategic Directions, 2015-2021.