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Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Economic Adjustment Assistance 3 $652,000
Public Works 3 $5,688,250
1 $182,847
Total 7 $6,523,097

In 1973, Hawaii Governor John A. Burns helped create a medical school to train primary care physicians for the Pacific. Since that time, the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) has become not only the sole four year medical program in the state and the standard bearer for medical care throughout the Pacific, but also a global leader in medical innovation. Medical research achievements at JABSOM include the development of the first red-spectrum cancer detection system, vaccines for West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever, and advances in genetic cloning.

When the research-based Hawaii Cancer Center opened its facility next door to JABSOM’s downtown Honolulu facility in February 2013, a medical and biomedical cluster quickly emerged. In 2014, EDA invested $3 million to construct the Entrepreneur’s Sandbox facility adjacent to the medical school that will provide the medical school faculty, graduates, residents and fellows, as well as researchers at the nearby cancer center with the opportunity to develop their ideas and concepts into working companies. Hundreds of professionals, including more than 66 graduates of the medical school, 225 post-MD residents and fellows, 200 researchers at the cancer center, and the staff of the medical school will be able to provide a ‘test bed’ for the further development of the prototype devices resulting from their research and education. 

At present, the medical and biomedical industry in Hawaii has several thousand employees creating the largest cluster of medical research in the Pacific.  The continued development of this cluster is critical to diversifying Hawaii’s economy and enhancing the resilience the tourism and military-based economy.  The grantee estimates that this project will create 325 jobs and generate $75 million in private investment. 

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