NASA Astronaut Col. E. Michael Fincke

The Hawaiʻi Business Roundtable and the University of Hawaiʻi will be hosting the third annual Future Focus: The Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative’s Forum on Astronomy, Space Exploration, Cybersecurity and More. The conference will be held October 4–5, 2017 at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.

As Hawaiʻi’s innovation sector continues to make strides, one of the featured keynote speakers at this year’s conference is NASA Astronaut Col. E. Michael Fincke. Fincke, who joined NASA in 1996, served on two missions aboard the International Space Station and as a mission specialist aboard the last spaceflight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in May 2011. His combined extra-vehicular activity time from all three missions of 48 hours and 37 minutes, places Fincke 10th on the list of most spacewalk time.

“This year, we are fortunate that Col. Fincke will join our conference to discuss the outlook of space exploration and astronomy across the nation and its impacts on our state,” said Rich Wacker, Hawaiʻi Business Roundtable chairman. “The forum will also focus on matters relating to disaster management, cybersecurity and innovation to ensure that the local businesses and the academic communities understand these key growth areas for Hawaiʻi’s economy.”

The forum will feature presentations, interactive panel discussions, “poolside chats” and a networking reception, offering attendees opportunities to learn more about emerging technologies, research, and ways to engage in, and contribute to Hawaiʻi’s growing innovation and technology industry.

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner added, “UH is committed to continue partnering with local businesses and government to help drive innovation in Hawaiʻi. Future Focus provides us the opportunity to share our progress and capabilities as we also listen to and learn from leading experts in key growth areas in which our Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative is working to help diversify the state’s economy and create more living-wage jobs.”

Featured presenters include:

  • Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command
  • John Roth, director of business development, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems
  • Adelina Kamal, executive director, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management

The event will also feature the public launch of CyberHawaiʻi, a partnership of local federal, state, county, private industry, professional organizations and academia combining efforts to implement a “cyber-ecosystem” to defend Hawaiʻi against cyberattacks. CyberHawaiʻi is aligned by CyberUSA, a non-profit “community of communities” governed by its members, established to enhance information sharing between states and improve cyber resilience at all levels of participation—local, regional and national—all while connecting the cyber ecosystem of the U.S and its allies.

Registration information

The registration fee for the conference is $100 ($50 for students with ID), which also includes continental breakfast on both days and lunch and a reception on the first day. Go to the forum website for more information and to register.

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