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Innovation Grants

Grants to Hawaii Nonprofits, Agencies, and Educational Institutions
for Agriculture, Energy, Tourism, and Economic Development

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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County of Hawai‘i - Department of Research and Development

Deadline Date:

05/13/19 4:30 PM Hawai‘i-Aleutian Standard Time Receipt


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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to Hawaii nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and state and county agencies for innovational programs benefiting local communities. Funding is intended to support new projects and research in the areas of agriculture, economic development, energy, tourism, sustainable development, and creative economy.

Innovation Grants projects should advance community goals and must advance Department objectives by means of innovative measures.

The goals of the County General Plan and Community Development Plans capture the community’s long-term vision for Hawai‘i Island. The Department seeks to advance innovations that contribute toward achieving the following subset of those goals.

Economic Development:
- The local economy is diverse, stable, and sustainable.
- Economic development complements and is in balance with the Island’s ecology, community character, and cultural heritage.
- Households enjoy economic self-sufficiency, and residents have a diversity of income sources, including diverse choices of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in close proximity to residential areas.

- Tourism is compatible with historic and natural resources and not intrusive into local communities.

- There is a robust, diversified agricultural sector, including a range of agriculturally-related businesses and agricultural tourism.

- Properly regulated, adequate, efficient, cost-effective, and dependable public and private utility services are available to each community.
- Communities are prepared for emergencies.
- Hawai‘i County is energy self-sufficient, using a diversity of renewable energy resources.
- Energy is available at lower costs.
- Energy efficiency improves.

Sustainable Development:
- Needs for shelter, sustenance, education, livelihood, and recreation are met in harmony with natural systems.
- The development and stewardship of ecosystems, communities, and economies are balanced to meet the needs of current and future generations, integrating the values and principles of the traditional ahupua‘a management systems.
- County, state, and federal agencies, private entities, other nongovernmental entities, and residents collaborate to mitigate and adapt to climate change, with a focus on preserving ecosystems and protecting infrastructure, facilities, and communities.

For a list of common allowable expenses, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185621

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Department awards grants in the range of $5,000 to $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Funding is for a 12 month period only, with the exception of government awardees whose contract may extend 18 months from date of execution. The contract period may be extended at the discretion of the Department. All awarded projects must be initiated by June 30, 2020.

- Grant Agreement Execution Period: July 2, 2019 – July 31, 2019
- Tentative Agreement Commencement Date: August 1, 2019

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be eligible for award through this RFP, the proposer shall:

- Be an educational institution, State or County agency, a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Hawai‘i or a non-profit organization exempt from the federal income tax by the Internal Revenue Service. In the case of a non-profit organization, members of its governing board shall have served without compensation and have no material conflict of interest.
- Be licensed and accredited, as applicable, in accordance with the requirements of the federal, state and county governments.
- Have bylaws or policies that describe the manner in which business is conducted including management, fiscal policies and procedures, and policies on nepotism and the management of potential conflicts of interest.
- Have at least one (1) year of experience with the project or in the program area being proposed. The Director may grant an exception from this requirement if the proposer has demonstrated the necessary experience in the program area.
- Have a staff or authorized representatives adequately trained to administer and provide the service described.

Individuals and for-profit businesses may not apply for funding.

Personnel costs should not be the primary use of grant funds. To demonstrate financial sustainability, projects will not rely on grant funding for critical operating expenses like salaries and wages.

Programs or projects currently funded with Department of Research and Development Innovation Grants or grants of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Community Enrichment Program will not be considered. Exceptions include Department funded programs or projects that continue to advance innovation.

Ineligible uses of grant funding include the following expenses:

- Equipment purchase. Equipment includes items that: have a useful life of more than one year; and/or do not change or transform with use; and/or have a unit value of more than $200; and/or are machinery.
- Film production.
- Fundraising expenses.
- Organizational start up plans.
- Purchase of alcohol.
- Proposal expenses.

Pre-proposal Conference:

There will be two (2) information sessions to address general information and any procedural questions related to the proposal submission process at the dates, times, and locations indicated below:

West Hawai'i:

Friday, March 29, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Community Hale, Building G
West Hawai‘i Civic Center
75-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
*No RSVP Required

East Hawai'i:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Aupuni Center Conference Room
101 Pauahi Street
Suite 1
Hilo, HI 96720
*No RSVP Required

Pre-Application Information:

Sealed Proposals must be received at either the Hilo or Kailua-Kona office on or before 4:30 p.m. Hawai‘i-Aleutian Standard Time, Monday, May 13, 2019. Proposals may be mailed or delivered. Proposals delivered by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.


- RFP issued: Tuesday, March 19, 2019
- Informational Meeting: West Hawai‘i - Friday, March 29, 2019
- Informational Meeting: East Hawai‘i - Tuesday, April 2, 2019
- Closing Date for Receipt of (Written) Questions / Comments: Friday, April 5, 2019
- Department’s Response to Proposers’ Questions: Friday, April 12, 2019
- Proposal Due Date: Monday, May 13, 2019 at 4:30p.m.
- Selection / Award Notification: Tuesday, July 2, 2019
- Grant Agreement Execution Period: July 2, 2019 – July 31, 2019
- Tentative Agreement Commencement Date: August 1, 2019

Proposers must meet 1-1 matching fund requirements.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit the application in either of two locations - in Hilo or Kailua-Kona, as follows:

1. In Hilo, deliver applications to:

County of Hawai‘i
Department of Research and Development
25 Aupuni Street, Room #1301
Hilo, HI 96720
Telephone: (808) 961-8366
Fax: (808) 935-1205

2. In Kailua-Kona, deliver applications to:

County of Hawai‘i
Department of Research and Development
75-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway
Building C (Second Floor)
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

For additional information, contact the Department of Research and Development at the Hilo location indicated above.

For a list of contacts specializing in specific Research and Development program areas, see

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Hawaii