Technology Transfer & Ethics

Before UH or any UH/RCUH employee takes part in any technology transfer activity where Act 8 applies, the activities must be reviewed for potential conflicts of interest or violations of the State Ethics Code.

In 2017, Act 38 and Act 39 were signed into law to facilitate the transfer of UH research into commercially viable businesses to expand workforce opportunities, help diversify the economy and provide useful products to the community. Act 38 conferred to UH regulatory and oversight responsibilities of certain sections of the State Ethics Code for technology transfer activities sponsored by the University of Hawai‘i. Act 39 provided UH statutory authority to engage in activities to support UH affiliated startup companies.

Act 38 and 39 was updated during the 2021 Special Session as Act 8, Part III. It can be found in the Hawaii Revised Statutes sections 84-10 and 304A-1961 through 304A-1969.

  1. Update your Conflicts of Interest (COI) disclosure online at MyGrant rCOI (if involved with externally funded research) or the Kuali Build COI disclosure (if not involved with externally funded research).
  2. Submit the Technology Transfer Activity Review Request form (word document) to
  3. Disclose any UH intellectual property being used in the activity through the online Innovator Portal or using the paper form.
  4. OIC will work with you to develop a COI management plan and consult the Office of Research Compliance (ORC), if needed.

You can submit a Technology Transfer Activity Review Request form to begin the review process by UH. You can also contact the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at or 808-956-9024.

More information on COI can be found on the Office of Research Compliance website.

You may contact the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at or 808-956-9024. You can also contact the Office of Research Compliance Research Integrity Program at

Information on COI management plans can be found on the Office of Research Compliance (ORC) website.  OIC will work with ORC if a management plan is needed.

Act 8 relates to technology transfer activities sponsored by the University of Hawai‘i and defines “technology transfer activities” as the “process of transferring scientific findings from the public sector to the private sector for the purpose of commercial development and application for personal or financial gain.”

Eligible “technology transfer activities” may include:

  • Creating joint ventures, limited partnerships, or other corporate forms
  • Allocating equity shares, partnership interests, or other forms of participation
  • Identifying new technologies
  • Protecting technologies through patents and copyrights
  • Forming development and commercialization strategies, arrangements, or projects

The Hawaii State Ethics Code is found in Chapter 84, Part II of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.  The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission administers the State Ethics Code and can provide guidance on any questions you may have.  Their website also includes quick guides and  training programs.





Consumer Business

Interested in starting your own value-added product business? UH partnered with Mana Up – a Hawaii-based, consumer brand accelerator – on a Local Entrepreneurship Initiative to share invaluable and applicable tips on business planning, product development, pricing, marketing and creating or strengthening your brand.

STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS – Meli James, co-founder of Mana Up describes her background and her ‘why’ for creating Mana Up. She discusses the challenges she’s faced while starting her business and provides tips for current and future entrepreneurs.

STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS – April Hail, founder of Keiki Kaukau, shares her insights on the importance of diversity in toys and children’s products. Learn how she identified a gap in the market, addressed it by building her own company, and gained the creativity, freedom, and flexibility to make a positive impact.

CREATING A BRAND: NARRATIVE AND STORYTELLING – Reyn Mukawa, co-founder of Aloha Modern, shares his entrepreneurial journey and the inspiration behind his business. Discover how he tackles challenges and proves that success is possible through perseverance and hard work.

GROWING YOUR REVENUE – Jason Quan, an advisor at Mana Up and former retail and advertising executive, shares his expertise on effective marketing strategies using the 4 P’s framework. Discover real-world examples of how successful companies have positioned themselves through strategic pricing, placement, promotion, and product differentiation.

CREATING A PRODUCT: PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – Andrew Britton, co-founder of Island Harvest, talks through his upbringing with macadamia nut farms and starting his own business selling a variety of different macadamia nut products. Andrew provides tips on how to start conceptualizing a product, and how to develop and sell it.

MAKING A PRODUCT: COSTING AND PRICING – In this video, Loren Shoop, founder of ‘Ulu Mana, shares his insights on costing and pricing his ulu chips. Drawing from his own experience, he discusses how factors like shipping, supply and demand, and supplier impact the financial aspects of his business.

MAKING A PRODUCT: COSTING AND PRICING – Kuulei Garcia, senior merchandise manager and buyer, shares insider tips and strategies for successfully bringing products to market. Learn about the key steps and processes involved in product development and bringing those products to the market.