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DBEDT NEWS RELEASE: HTDC awards grants to Hawaii companies

Posted on Feb 9, 2017 in Latest Department News

More than $1.6 million awarded for research and development

HONOLULU – The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), a state agency that supports the innovation and technology industry, has awarded more than $1.6 million in matching grants to six Hawaii companies who have received Federal Small Business Innovation Research Grants.

HTDC’s Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research program (HSBIR) provides matching grants to help companies further the development of new products to solve critical issues. There are three technology development phases to the program, with each progressive phase allowing for more extensive funding. Grant awardees must have received federal funding to qualify for the state level grant.

Six companies were awarded Phase 2 grants by HTDC, which funds projects through the earliest stages of development.  These companies are: 3SRM Inc. ($105,389), Hawaii Fish Company ($139,500), Navatek, Ltd. ($370,000), Referentia ($366,578), Oceanit ($271,500), and HNu Photonics ($355,608).

In addition to state funding, the federal government awarded more than $8.2 million in grants to the six companies

“Hawaii is home to many advanced technology companies,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC. “These six companies are leaders in their field and will encourage other entrepreneurs to start businesses in Hawaii. By supporting local companies in their research and development efforts through the Hawaii SBIR program, we are continuing to grow opportunities for our state’s tech and innovation sectors.”

HTDC’s SBIR grants are available to companies working on projects that have the potential for commercialization. The next deadline to apply is Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.

HSBIR matching grant funds are tiered as follows:

  • Phase 0 (up to $3,000) – covers the grant writing process
  • Phase 1 (up to 50% max $75,000) – proof of concept
  • Phase 2 (up to 50% max $500,000) – working prototype through Beta testing
  • Phase 3 (up to 50% max $500,000)  — commercialization of the product

All applicants should be prepared to make two presentations as part of the review process. For more information and to apply, go to

About HTDC (High Technology Development Corporation)

HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).  HTDC’s mission is to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s high technology industry.  HTDC is providing capital, building infrastructure and developing talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. HTDC’s 80/80 Initiative is to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs that will provide high paying jobs for Hawaii residents.

ABOUT DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

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Media Contacts: 

Robbie Melton
High Technology Development Corporation
Office: (808) 539-3615
Email: [email protected]

Christine Hirasa 
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Email: [email protected]

Jocelyn Collado or Susan Wright
Becker Communications, Inc.
Phone: (808) 533-4165
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]