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County grant recipients announced

LIHU‘E — The County of Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development announced the recipients of its Innovation Grants for fiscal year 2021-22.

After receiving 16 proposals for the grants, the OED invited the public to review the proposals and provide feedback as part of the review process. That public feedback was factored into the scoring and was a valuable part of the selection process.

A selection committee reviewed and scored the eligible projects, and selected eight proposals to fund for a total of $370,718. The following is a list of those projects:

Agriculture

• Ho‘omalu Ke Kai & Kaua‘i Sea Farm – Securing hatchery supply for restorative aquaculture project;

Sustainability and conservation

• Garden Island Resource Conservation & Development, Inc. – Demonstration project to show how a regional collection and transportation infrastructure can make large-scale community composting profitable while diverting waste;

• National Tropical Botanical Garden – Project to propagate ferns from spores to actively contribute to ecosystem-restoration projects and improve ferns’ ability to survive;

Small business

• CG Foundation – Common Ground Incubator to create a pipeline of new businesses to generate innovative products and markets;

Workforce

• Dev-Island Inc. – Project will pilot the first class of Kaua‘i residents in a hands-on coding class to train island residents to be remote workers for companies in the tech field;

• Kaua‘i Economic Development Board-Ho‘akeolapono HVAC Training and Certification Program – Project will provide trade education and training for female high-school and young adults in the fields of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and refrigeration.

Visitor industry / cultural and other initiatives

• Kaua‘i Museum Association, Ltd. – Creation of a series of virtual tours based on new exhibits coming out in 2022 and 2023;

• Equine Therapy, Inc.-Healing Horses Kaua‘i Therapeutic Driving – Project will make their services wheelchair accessible via accessible carriages and certification for local instructors in therapeutic driving and riding.

The intent of OED’s Innovation Grants is to support new programs or projects that advance innovation by identifying and solving local problems.

Proposals were accepted in the areas of small business, technology, transportation, agriculture, local manufacturing, circular economy and tourism in Kaua‘i County. The goal of the grants is to provide funding for innovative projects to generate short-term and long-term economic growth and diversification on Kaua‘i.

This is the second year the OED has offered funding for the grants.

To learn more about the Innovation Grant proposals, view them at oedinnovationgrant2022.consider.it/.
Source: The Garden Island

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