Technology

Foundation announces $450,000 in Innovation Fund awards

The Hawaii Community Foundation announced the second round of grant recipients from its Island Innovation Fund, which was created to serve as a catalyst for innovation within the nonprofit sector. From a group of eight finalists, a total of $480,591 was awarded to five recipients for projects that will: increase energy awareness through real-time energy monitoring web and mobile application tools; allow residents statewide to actively follow and monitor the Hawaii legislative process; distribute a replicable exercise and fall prevention program to Hawaii’s seniors; deploy a new access control mechanism to maintain public access to trails and pathways on Hawaii Island; and encourage schools to eliminate its waste to create green schools. For the first time, a “People’s Choice Award” was also selected by the more than 200 nonprofits that submitted proposals over the first and second grant rounds. [...]

Algae demonstration commissioned at West Oahu refinery

Kuehnle AgroSystems, a producer of specialized algae strains and bulk concentrated algae designed to meet the diverse needs of the animal nutrition, specialty chemical and biofuels markets, has announced the commissioning of an algae demonstration project at the Chevron Hawaii refinery. The demonstration project, funded by the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture and the Office of Naval Research, produces algae using recycled CO2 waste streams and wastewater by-product from Chevron’s refinery to cultivate algae in specially designed closed growing systems. Chevron’s role in this project is to serve as a host site and a source of recycled CO2 and wastewater for KAS to conduct its research. [...]

OTEC International chosen for NELHA demonstration

OTEC International LLC (OTI) was selected to build a one-megawatt demonstration plant by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) to test the full power cycle of ocean thermal energy conversion for electricity. Baltimore-based OTI has built its OTEC design on decades of innovation, combining proprietary technology with off-the-shelf components. Privately funded OTI has not relied on government money and expects to be first-to-market with a commercial plant. OTI is currently negotiating a power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric Company for a 100-megawatt (MW) plant and with Caribbean Utilities Company and others for 25 MW plants. [...]

Isle marine base testing new trash technology

At Camp Smith above Halawa, the military is testing a high-tech trash disposal system that can reduce a standard 50-gallon bag of waste to a half-pint jar of harmless ash. Called the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), the unit is currently undergoing evaluation by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific in partnership with the Office of Naval Research as a possible solution to help Marines win their daily battle against the increasing trash at remote forward operating bases. Lt. Col. Mike Jernigan, a Marine combat engineer who recently commanded a logistics battalion in Afghanistan, said waste disposal in the field is a problem. [...]

Kauai utility smart grid project approved

The state Public Utilities Commission last week approved Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s request to commit funds to participate in a national smart grid demonstration project, which will bring advanced meter technology to every household on Kauai. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s national demonstration project is designed to assist rural utilities like KIUC, implement technologies that make the electricity grid more efficient and reliable. The total cost of the project is approximately $11.9 million, half of which will be funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). In the application, filed late in October of 2010, KIUC requested commission approval to commit approximately $6 million in funds to participate in The Smart Grid Project which the utility explained was part of a demonstration project “involving 27 electric cooperatives throughout the nation,” but the project also represents a key component of KIUC’s own longterm strategic plan. [...]

Local mom site unveils pregnancy calendar

Starting September 30, MomsInHawaii.com, in partnership with The Queen’s Medical Center, will offer a unique, locally written online calendar of information that will take expectant mothers month by month through all the stages of pregnancy. The calendar, located at MomsInHawaii.com, includes valuable tips and insights developed by experts at The Queen’s Medical Center and vetted by local moms. Tips include visiting a Chinatown crack seed store for ginger candy to relieve morning sickness and using kukui nut oil, a distinctive emollient unique to Hawaii, to help with pregnancy stretch marks. “Expectant moms count on MomsInHawaii.com and The Queen’s Medical Center for support and authoritative information,” said Esme Infante Nii, editor/host and “chief executive mom” of Moms in Hawaii. [...]

Online community for moms gets new marketing chief

MomsInHawaii.com, a local social-media community, has named Kimi Morton Chun its “Marketing Mom.” She will help to plan and execute marketing strategies for the online and “real life” community for Hawaii’s mothers. “Kimi brings to our team years of experience in marketing, entrepreneurship and social media,” said Esme Infante Nii, MomsInHawaii.com Editor/Host and Chief Executive Mom. “I’m thrilled to have her on board to boost our marketing efforts. She is innovative and creative, and very experienced in community building.” Morton Chun joins MomsInHawaii.com with more than 12 years of experience as an entrepreneur in technology and the arts. [...]

Lawmakers to host live video chat Tuesday

Sen. Will Espero will host a live streaming video conversation tomorrow, along with Sens. Carol Fukunaga and Clarence Nishihara, as well as Rep. Angus McKelvey. Sen. Espero (Sen. District 20), the Senate Public Safety, Military and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chairperson and his team are desccribing the event as a “Ustream Legislative Sit-Down.” The broadcast will begin at noon. Sen. Espero will use this online platform to talk with other State Legislators about the 2011 Legislative Session, find out what they are doing in the interim, and discuss any upcoming plans for next session. [...]