Innovation and Commercialization Program

IC Program graphic

The UH Innovation & Commercialization Program is focused on facilitating the introduction of UH technologies and UH-affiliated startups into the commercial market.

UH researchers from all campuses, UH licensees and UH-affiliated startups are eligible to participate in the program. This program is intended to fund applied/commercially driven proof-of-concept research, not basic exploratory research. If selected, awardees must work with OIC to develop a milestone-based plan prior to release of funds.

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on demonstration of strong potential for:

  • benefiting Hawai‘i and the world and generating future licensing revenue;
  • scaling globally, creating high-paying jobs and generating new sources of revenue

Awards are dependent on available funds. Program eligibility and conditions are subject to change at OIC’s discretion.

  • UH researchers developing innovations/technology owned solely or jointly by UH, UH licensees or UH-affiliated startups (UH or UH Ventures has an equity interest)
  • Innovations/technology that demonstrates clear commercial applications and strong licensing or commercialization potential
  • Invention Disclosure Form [link] (if applicable) for the innovation must be submitted to and received by the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) before applying
  • Act 38 Request Form [link] (if required) must be submitted to and received by OIC OR a current Act 38 Management Plan must be in place before applying

  • Awards are not transferable.
  • Awards are not intended to duplicate currently funded efforts, pilot new research, or provide interim bridge funding.
  • Any invention, technology, software, prototype or improvement (including improvements to existing technology) developed under this program must be disclosed to the Office of Technology Transfer using the UH Invention Disclosure Form [link].
  • If awardee is a UH researcher, all rights to discoveries, inventions, information and data developed and/or generated under this program will be owned by UH. If awardee is a UH-affiliated company, all rights to discoveries, inventions, information and data developed and/or generated under this program will be owned jointly with UH and the UH-affiliated company.
  • Any outstanding obligations to UH/OIC must be addressed prior to applying to the program.
  • All UH policies, procedures and rules, including policies on intellectual property, conflict of interest, human subject research, animal research, data ownership and security etc. apply to projects funded under this program.
  • Awardees must abide by and remain compliant with all program rules and policies and understand that the rules and policies may be unilaterally amended at any time by OIC.
  • Participation in the program may be terminated at any time, should the awardee fail to reach milestones, follow program guidelines, or otherwise fail to comply with program rules or UH policies.
  • Awardee must commit to collaborate with UH/OIC (e.g., mentor, advisor, speaker, participate in demonstration projects and showcase events, progress reports, etc.) on innovation and entrepreneurship programming.

  • Funds are to be used only for the awarded project.
  • Funding cannot be used for tuition or faculty salaries, but may be used for student or post-doc salaries and may include fringe benefits.
  • Awards are not assessed Indirect Costs.
  • Funds not expended within 12 months of award must be returned to OIC.
  • Funding will not be released until all pertinent reviews and approvals are complete.

Projects will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Likelihood the requested funds will facilitate technology’s licensing or commercialization potential
  • Potential of technology to have significant commercial or transformative impact on society or in the addressable market
  • Applicant’s and its team’s passion and commitment to the project
    Feasibility of the proposed project, including the use of any matching funds
  • Engaged in the commercialization process, including with UH and/or the local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem


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