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UH receives $2.4M to launch entrepreneurship programs for students and faculty

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University of Hawaiʻi

A $2.4 million dollar grant plans to help the University of Hawaiʻi launch new programs for entrepreneurship.

The grant comes from the Office of Naval Research, the organization in charge of science and research development for the U.S. Navy.

Three programs at UH will begin this year through the new funds: Hacking for “X”, Patents to Products and Faculty Fellows.

Vassilis Syrmos, the university’s vice president for research and innovation, speaks to HPR's Russell Subiono
The Conversation - Jan. 12, 2023

The university announced Wednesday that the funding will give students the chance to do hands-on projects, which will objectively help strengthen the state's overall economy and workforce.

"These programs will prepare researchers to extend their focus beyond the academic laboratory environment. We want to increase the capacity for innovation and accelerate the economic and societal benefits of technological developments," said UH innovation associate director Rebecca Chung.

Hacking for “X” is a semester-long program aimed at teaching the product design process. Teams will have the chance to showcase their work in a showcase, following a selected theme relating to Hawaiʻi's 'health and marine challenges.' The program plans to launch this month.

Patents to Products is a year-long fellowship for PhD and postdoctoral researchers. While also related to product design, this program specializes in getting a prototype to commercialization. Patents to Products will launch in fall 2023 and is seeking program partners to support the selected fellows.

The Faculty Fellows program will train professors to integrate entrepreneurship into their curriculum over the course of a year. The programs align with the latest UH Strategic Plan and will have a trial run this summer.

For more information about the programs, click here.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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