NELHA Receives Presidential Award for Export Service

Posted on May 16, 2016 in News

Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority
For Immediate Release: May 16, 2016

WASHINGTON—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today presented the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“We are most honored to receive the presidential ‘E’ Award for Export Service,” said Gregory Barbour, NELHA’s executive director. “NELHA is dedicated to providing an ecosystem where businesses can thrive and grow their exports. We are very proud of the NELHA businesses that have experienced a sustained surge in product sales and exports over the last four years.”

“Exports play a vital role in our efforts to encourage economic growth and the creation of new jobs,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). “This award demonstrates the importance and benefits of the work being conducted at NELHA,” which is attached to DBEDT for administrative purposes.

“NELHA has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with NELHA’s development of facilities to support the growth of innovative energy and marine science companies,” Pritzker said in her congratulatory letter to NELHA announcing its selection as an award recipient. “NELHA’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” Pritzker added.

Hawaii aquaculture production and sales have surged by more than 150 percent in the past four years from $30 million to $78 million. The majority of the increase is from businesses producing shellfish, finfish and algae at NELHA in Kailua-Kona. Exports are a driver of this growth as evidenced by a 118 percent increase in aquaculture products exports between 2011 and 2014. There are many exporters at NELHA, but some of the firms experiencing the highest recent growth are Cyanotech Corp. a manufacturer of microalgae-based nutritional supplements and Shrimp Improvement Systems LLC, a shrimp brood stock company. Another strong category for NELHA exports is bottled deep sea water. This product is included in the federal government category of beverages which was the highest commodity exported from Hawaii in 2012 and 2013 but has since dropped to second place following the surge in aquaculture sales.

President Kennedy revived the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. The “E” Award Program was established by Executive Order 10978 on December 5, 1961. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Award for Export Service through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, which has offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries to help U.S. exporters.

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About NELHA (Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority):
NELHA is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). NELHA administers the world’s premier energy and ocean technology park (HOST Park). This unique master-permitted park is on 870 acres of prime coastal property in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and offers research support facilities for the development of renewable energy and other demonstration projects that use the unique resources found at the park. It is the world’s only facility that continually brings ashore high quality, pristine supplies of both warm surface and cold deep seawater 24 hours a day, which helps to reap economic potentials from the dual temperature seawater delivery system and high solar insolation. Tenants located in HOST Park work at the pre-commercial, commercial, research and educational levels. It is the largest diversified economic development project in the state and is focused on sustainable economic development projects and blue technology.

About DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

Media Contacts:
Gregory P. Barbour
Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority
Office: (808) 542-4622

Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017