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HTDC Awards More Than $1 Million in Grants to Local Companies

March 14, 2018

In early March HTDC awarded 15 Hawaiʻi-based companies more than $1.4 million from its Hawaiʻi Small Business Innovation Research grant programs. The companies will use the funding to further the development of new products to meet a range of needs in the state, from healthcare solutions to agriculture.

Congratulations to our HSBIR Phase I matching grant awardees: Premier Solutions, Navatek, Math Nimbus/Algorithm Hub, Nalu Scientific, Forever Oceans, Hawaiʻi Fish, Oceanit Laboratories, HNU Photonics and Tridentis AMV! And congratulations to our HSBIR Phase II & III matching grant awardees: Referentia Systems, Kampachi Farms, Jun Innovations, Experiad and Makai Ocean Engineering!

Tridentis AMV, which was awarded the HSBIR Phase I grant, is focused on developing the world’s most advanced autonomous and unmanned marine vehicles. These vehicles will be used to monitor the health and condition of waters surrounding Hawaiʻi. Located at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiʻi Authority in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaiʻi, Tridentis AMV is currently working on designing the Advanced Coastal Monitor (ACM), an autonomous unmanned surface vehicle designed to capture data in coastal areas. The ACM will be fully autonomous, have a modular sensor bay to make switching sensor packages easy, and be powered by solar energy sources.

Tridentis AMV image
Photo courtesy Tridentis AMV

Spearheaded by CEO Dr. Soojin Jun and awarded an HSBIR Phase II & III grant, Jun Innovations is developing a new supercooling device that can preserve the original freshness of meat, fish and produce over an extended period of time. Supercooled foods can be preserved and stored over an extended period of time, limiting spoilage and adding value to businesses across the food industry.

Team of scientists working in a lab
Photo courtesy Jun Innovations

For example, instead of ahi staying fresh for two days in the refrigerator, ahi that has been supercooled can stay fresh for up to four weeks. American households discard an estimated 465 pounds of food waste per year, which amounts to approximately $390 per capita and totals $165.6 billion per year. Potential markets for supercooling, besides food, include biotech and medical industries for the preservation of vaccines, organ transplants and others.

In 1988, HTDC began providing matching grant funds to Hawaiʻi companies who received Federal Small Business Innovation Research Grants. These companies are recognized for advancing technology to solve critical challenges for the nation.