Innovate2Impact Initiative

The UH Innovate2Impact Initiative is focused on facilitating the transition of UH technologies and UH startups from lab/idea to market. UH will invest funds tied to milestones in:

  1. UH technologies that demonstrate strong potential for benefiting Hawai‘i and the world and generating future licensing revenue; and
  2. UH startups (e.g., licensee of UH technology or UH/UHV equity or investment) that demonstrate strong potential for scaling globally, creating high-paying jobs and generating new sources of revenue.

The awards are intended to fund applied/commercially driven proof-of-concept research, not basic exploratory research. As there are limited funds, OIC will review applications and funding levels and admit applicants at its discretion. OIC may work with applicants under consideration to develop a milestone-based plan that integrates the wrap-around support, resources and funds prior to admission to the program.

Innovate2Impact Initiative conditions, including general eligibility requirements and application form are below (subject to change at OIC’s discretion):

General Eligibility

  • Innovations owned solely or jointly by UH, licensees of UH technology or UH startups that UH/UHV has an equity interest that demonstrate clear commercial applications and strong licensing or commercialization potential.
  • The completed Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) for the innovation must be submitted to and received by OIC’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) before the applicant applies to the program.
  • The completed Act 38 Request Form (if required) must be submitted to and received by OIC before a startup or an applicant applies to the program.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Likelihood that the requested funds and support will facilitate licensing or commercialization potential
  • Potential for the technology to have significant commercial or transformative impact on society or in the addressable market
  • Researcher / Team (founders, owners, employees, advisors), passion and commitment to the project
  • Feasibility of the proposed project
  • Engaged in the commercialization process, including with UH and/or the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem

General Program Conditions

Note: These conditions are subject to change.

  • This award is to be used only for the awarded project.
  • Any invention, technology, software, prototype or improvement developed in connection with this program, including improvements to existing technology, should be disclosed to the Office of Technology Transfer.
    Disclosing an Invention
  • All UH policies and rules, including with respect to intellectual property, conflict of interest, human subject research, animal research, data ownership and security etc. apply to projects funded under this program. Funding will not be provided until all pertinent reviews and approvals are complete.
  • Any outstanding obligations to UH/OIC must be addressed prior to admission to the program.
  • Commitment to collaborate with OIC to pay it forward (e.g., mentor, advisor, speaker, participate in demonstration projects and showcase events, progress reports, etc.)
  • Funding cannot be used for tuition or faculty salaries. Funding may be used for student or post-doc salaries.
  • Awards may include fringe benefits, but awards are not assessed Indirect Costs.
  • Awards are not transferable to other employees, institutions, business entities, parties, etc.
  • Awards are not intended to duplicate currently funded efforts, pilot new research, or provide interim bridge funding.
  • Funds not expended within 12 months of award will be returned to OIC.
  • Awardees must abide by and remain compliant with all rules and policies of the program and understand that the rules and policies may be unilaterally amended at any time by OIC.
  • An awardee’s participation in the program may be terminated at any time, should the awardee fail to reach milestones, follow program guidelines, or otherwise comply with the requirements of the program.

For questions about the program, contact OIC at or 808-956-9024.

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