The Office of Indigenous Innovation (OII) is situated within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation for the University of Hawai‘i (UH) System. Founded in 2019, OII's function is to support the positioning of ‘Ike and Hana Hawai‘i as a set of biocentric sciences and technologies that have been developed over millennia of regenerative practice, to position community practitioners as the holders of these sciences, and to position regional youth as the heirs to these science-based traditions. OII aims to accomplish these goals via a series of initiatives that support UH faculty and Campuses in the co-production of research and programming in partnership with community organizations. Although the size and shape of these collaborative initiatives are diverse, all of them are centered around the following goals: (1) to validate indigenous practices as needed contemporary interventions; (2) to situate community organizations as experts in field and drive investments into their core operations; (3) to create opportunities for regional youth to enter into an emerging indigenous-centered career pathway; and (4) to help reframe mental models of policy makers and philanthropists to re-envision Indigenous communities as spaces of profound, culturally derived innovation.
OII is currently staffed by Director Kamuela Enos and Operations Coordinator Rachelle Robley.