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Providing PPE training in Ghana.

A University of Hawaiʻi Pacific Business Center Program (PBCP) project with health security and disaster management consulting company HITmethods, is a finalist for a 2021 University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Award of Excellence in the category of innovation. HITmethods is one of five private-sector partners organized under PBCP’s Multi-Purpose Business Incubator.

The PBCP works with private businesses, government agencies and community development organizations to enhance economic diversification and develop new opportunities for businesses in the Pacific region. HITmethods is focused on healthcare capacity building, disaster preparedness and response, global health informatics and technology, and business transformation. With PBCP assistance, HITmethods was able to navigate cultural and protocol issues and enter the Pacific Islands such as Samoa to provide health promotion and screening.

7 people standing in a line
HITmethods team delivering health promotion and screening in Apia, Samoa, 2019.

“The HITmethods project is under the Multi-Purpose Business Incubator, which was created to establish a symbiotic-regenerative economic development model that is restorative and regenerative, versus the debilitating extractive and degenerative economic model pervasive in the region. It builds on the weave of traditional wisdom, ancient regenerative practices and the fundamental principle of aloha ʻāina (love of the land), with modern science and technology.” said PBCP Director Failautusi Avegalio.

UEDA is an association of the nation’s leading universities, research institutions, organizations and government agencies with economic development entrepreneurial programs that generate and produce leading edge technologies, methods and practices through imagination, creativity, risk taking and innovation. Final selection for the annual award will be made at the national UEDA conference in Savannah, Georgia, on September 21.

The 2021 UEDA nomination is the fourth national nomination for the Multi-Purpose Business Incubator project within recent years. These projects are university/private enterprise partnerships specifically organized to address universal economic, environmental and health challenges in the Pacific.

The 2014 Pacific Regional Breadfruit Initiative, initially funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs, led the honors as the MPBI’s first national winner. In 2019, the Thermal Conversion of Organic Materials/Hauʻula Community Resilience model was a national winner; The 2020 Coastal Water Factory project was a national runner-up.

PBCP is a university center program of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The MPBI project was created to provide a model for regenerative economic development that is sustainable for islands and insular communities. An additional feature of the MPBI includes a focus on Pacific Islander veterans and public safety officers of both the U.S. and Pacific nations of Oceania as key resources.

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