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Hawaii SBIR Success Story - PacMar Technologies

With the help of: INNOVATE Hawaii


PacMar Technologies was founded in 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii, with a focus on developing advanced ships to improve passenger ride quality, reduce operator injury, and improve hull efficiency. The company was an early leader in advanced ship hull form development. Since then, the company has grown, expanded, and continued to be pioneer in the field of marine engineering.

Their cutting-edge solutions in the defense and maritime industries have led the company to close collaborations with both government and academia. PacMar Technologies’ successes continue to leverage non-traditional material science, novel manufacturing techniques, physics and machine learning modeling capabilities, artificial intelligence, and data science to create solutions that withstand the most demanding marine environments. The company’s motto is, “There are no limits,” and their team of highly skilled experts continue to push technological boundaries to provide truly innovative solutions.

The Challenge

A government customer reached out to the PacMar Technologies team because of the company’s extensive knowledge and cutting-edge innovations in marine engineering. The customer was struggling with a heavy and ineffective recovery platform that was posing a challenge in demanding ocean conditions. The customer needed a platform solution that had high speed towing capabilities and could be rapidly deployed to seamlessly transport both vehicles and personnel.

PacMar Technologies successfully engineered and developed an inflatable multi-platform recovery system solution for the client. They knew however, that extensive testing and multiple prototypes would be needed to focus on certain technological aspects and to test their prototypes in real world marine conditions.

The HSBIR program was crucial in allowing us to spend the time and manpower to develop the technology further. It gave us the opportunity to get a step up on the competition and ultimately move into a Phase III SBIR award.

— Charlie Field, Senior Engineer

MEP's Role

From September 2018 to February 2020, the PacMar Technologies team was able to design, iterate, fabricate, and test their initial prototypes for the inflatable multi-platform recovery system during SBIR Phase I. They were met with success and moved into a Phase II. As they moved into Phase II, the team reached out to Innovate Hawaii, part of the MEP National Network™, regarding the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program (HSBIR). HSBIR provides matching grants and wrap around services to help companies further the development of new products to solve critical issues.

HSBIR supported the PacMar Technologies team in various R&D capacities, such as: at sea testing, design modifications and the ability to test additional design concepts that they otherwise would not have had the funding for. Once again, the team was successful and, in October 2022, the company moved into Phase III. Phase III is ongoing and continues through February 2024.

Created January 31, 2024