INNOVATE Hawaii, a program of the High Technology Development Corporation, has awarded a total of $248,310 to four Hawaii companies as part of the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research matching-grant program.
"The federal SBIR program has become a crucial source of funding for many of Hawaii's small businesses, including some of our most successful technology companies," said HTDC Executive Director and CEO Robbie Melton. "So far, nearly 100 companies have received more than $98 million in federal SBIR funds. And, we have attracted more than $75 million in commercialization dollars to Hawaii."
"We want to see more Hawaii companies take advantage of this funding source. HTDC's federal program, INNOVATE Hawaii, has resources that can help companies with grant writing and getting their products to market," said Melton.
The following winning companies were:
· Kampachi Farms LLC, a marine fish aquaculture firm located in the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kona, which received two federal SBIR phase one grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture totaling $199,940. The firm was awarded $99,970 in Hawaii SBIR grant funds from HTDC.
· Pacific Rim Defense, a Honolulu-based company and first-time SBIR award-winner, which was awarded $79,602 from the Naval Sea Systems Command to develop software that integrates total power usage information for ships. The company received $25,000 from HTDC.
· Oceanit, a Honolulu research and development firm, which was awarded $50,000 in matching grants for two Air Force phase one awards. The projects are an ice repellent coating technology for aircraft and a software platform for data integration for retina evaluation. Each project received $150,000 in federal phase one funding.
· TeraSys Technologies, a wireless interference analysis and custom mitigation company, which received $150,000 from the U.S. Army for wireless communications product development. It was awarded an additional $73,340 in Hawaii SBIR grant funds.
The Hawaii SBIR matching grant program was created in 1989 by Hawaii legislators to encourage local companies to participate in the federal SBIR program. SBIR has become an important funding source for Hawaii technology companies to bring their innovations to market. It is one of the few grant programs available that provides funding from concept to commercialization.
The three-phase SBIR program gives small businesses the opportunity to win federal research and development awards. By law, the 11 federal agencies must provide a small percentage of their budgets for SBIR grants and contracts, estimated at about $2 billion annually.
Hawaii companies that receive federal phase one SBIR awards are eligible to apply for HTDC’s matching-grant program, which provides up to 50 percent of the federal awards to assist in winning more lucrative phase-two awards and reaching commercialization.