Research and Innovation at the University of Hawai‘i

Research conducted by the University of Hawai‘i (UH) impacts the quality of life in the islands and around the world. Because of Hawai‘i’s tremendous geographic diversity that encompasses erupting volcanoes, frozen summits, tropical rain forests and the deep ocean, UH research is equally as diverse with its world-renowned research programs in astronomy, earth and ocean sciences, medicine and tropical agriculture. Cutting edge research facilities like the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research & Education, Institute for Biogenesis Research, John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH Cancer Center, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on Maui, provide UH researchers with the necessary tools to conduct competitive research in science and technology.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the flagship campus of UH’s ten campus system, is one of 131 universities, out of the 3,000 nationwide, to hold the distinction of being a Carnegie Research 1 university. It is also one of an elite handful of land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant universities and is known for pioneering research in Earth sciences, tropical agriculture, astronomy, cancer, linguistics, engineering, data visualization, microbiomes and more.  According to the most recent National Science Foundation Higher Education Research & Development (R&D) Expenditures Survey, UH Mānoa is currently ranked 59 out of 405 public institutions of higher education when it comes to total R&D expenditures (federal government, state and local government, business, non-profit organizations, and institutional sources).

Recently, UH Research has taken on a greater role to help diversify the state’s economy through the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative. The University of Hawai‘i has partnered with the Hawai‘i business community to help leverage its research to create and attract new companies, cultivate talent for a knowledge-based economy and encourage the development of future technologies. The common goal is to build a thriving research enterprise that will be driven by the growth of new industries in Hawai‘i, fueled by UH’s plans to aggressively commercialize its research and to employ and develop top researchers in several focus areas over the next decade.