Innovation research conference set Friday

Entrepreneurs developing new technologies or innovations have until Thursday to register for the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Conference, set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Maui Economic Development Board’s Malcolm Center.

The conference is a unique chance for Maui’s business innovators to meet and hear from federal government representatives who could connect them with funding and other resources, event organizers said.

“It’s not often that federal agencies come to Maui,” said MEDB Business Development Director Mark Todd. “The conference is a great opportunity for someone with a great idea to get federal funding and turn it into a reality.”

The conference will highlight information about the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research programs.

The small-business innovative research program is “one of the most successful federal programs for technological advancement in U.S. history,” Todd said. “It has delivered more than 60,000 patents and hundreds of valuable innovations in agriculture, defense, energy, health science, homeland security, space, transportation and other fields.”

Registration with lunch costs $75.

The federal small-business innovative research program funds development of high-risk innovations of critical need to the United States. The three-phased program grants awards of up to $850,000. Prototypes, marketing and outside investment are often involved.

The technology transfer research program encourages cooperative research among small businesses and nonprofit research institutions, including researchers at the University of Hawaii.

Federal managers of the small-business innovation research program from Washington, D.C., will be available for one-on-one meetings with Maui business representatives.

Conference participants will be provided a comprehensive overview of the programs and how businesses can participate. An update on the technologies and innovations the programs will fund this year will also be provided.

For more information, contact Todd at 270-6803, or via email at Inquiries can also be directed to Tom Liu at 875-2340, or email at