Student breakthrough innovation winners announced

A team of students from the University of Hawaii College of Engineering and the School of Architecture captured the top prize in the UH Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC) for their Namib beetle inspired building material. “The Breakthrough Innovation Challenge was a unique competition that forced us to think outside of our comfort zones and look to nature for inspiration,” says Monica Umeda, Cloud Catcher team leader. “These competitions are effective catalysts to help stimulate the type of innovation Hawaii desperately needs.” [...]

UH robotic vessel research earns new partnership

The University of Hawaii’s Unmanned Port Security Vessel (UPSV) is a robotic platform designed to support maritime missions in harbor and port environments including infrastructure inspection and incident response and recovery, and harbor surveillance. The UPSV was designed and built in Hawaii by UH researchers, students and contractors. UH Principal Investigator Brian Bingham demonstrated the vessel’s capabilities at Honolulu Harbor today. Rapidly deployable, the vessel can be used to map the seafloor in high resolution, photograph critical infrastructure below and above the waterline, detect chemical leaks or spills, and relay real-time video—all at the same time. This made-in-Hawaii technology can provide critical decision support to first-responders and other maritime security personnel around the world. Interest in UH’s UPSV technology has led to a business development agreement with a global innovation leader Battelle. [...]

Polynesian Cultural Center marks 50th year

Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) opened and began a new venture highlighting the peoples and cultures of Polynesia through entertainment, arts, education, and personal interaction. It was October 14, 1963, when the PCC welcomed its first guests. Today, more than 37 million guests later, the PCC continues to thrive on Oahu’s North Shore as the only cultural tourist attraction of its kind in the world. [...]

Battleship Missouri expands access during shutdown

Starting Friday, October 4, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will begin offering special tour access in response to the federal government shutdown and subsequent closure of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, including a free interpretative tour experience from its pier of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. “We want to ensure continued access for our guests to see the Mighty Mo, while also supporting the expectations of visitors who came here to see the USS Arizona Memorial,” said Michael A. Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “Our pier offers the best possible vantage point from land and our tour guides will provide a very informative presentation about the USS Arizona Memorial and its place in our nation’s history.” [...]

New surf magazine ‘nude’ launches with app

A new quarterly surf culture magazine is launching alongside a custom, free iPhone app. Co-founders Matt Luttress and Chance Carpenter say ‘nude’ will be “documenting surf stories from the ageless sea… focusing on enchanting art and cultural stories.” In print, the bilingual publication will be distributed at select locations on each of the major Hawaiian Islands. Digitally, it will explore surfing’s elegant roots in both article and short films through the app. Luttress and Carpenter say that ‘nude’ aims to create an unparalleled mobile magazine experience, seamlessly melding the beauty of print with the immediacy of digital. The magazine will release a teaser trailer for a new surf story every Friday via the app. [...]

Hawaii ‘Energy Excelerator’ gets $30M from Navy

The Navy’s Office of Naval Research, under the Asia Pacific Technology Education Program, announced today that it will invest $30 million dollars in the Hawaii-based Energy Excelerator. The new Navy commitment triples the funding that the program operated with over the past three years, showing that they recognize the value of Hawaii as an ideal place for new energy innovation. The Energy Excelerator funds seed-stage and growth-stage startups with compelling energy solutions and immediate application in Hawaii. [...]

Hawaiian Telcom to acquire datacenter firm

Hawaiian Telcom today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SystemMetrics Corporation. The cash transaction is valued at approximately $16 million, according to Hawaiian Telcom. SystemMetrics is a Honolulu-based data center firm that currently generates annual revenues of approximately $8 million, and will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hawaiian Telcom Services Company. [...]