NASA astronaut will be keynote speaker at Future Focus Forum

Updated: Oct. 2, 2017 at 11:07 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Business Roundtable (HBR) and the University of Hawai'i will be hosting the third annual Future Focus: The Hawai'i Innovation Initiative's Forum on Astronomy, Space Exploration, Cybersecurity & More. The day-and-a-half conference will be held on Oct. 4 - 5, 2017 at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

As Hawai'i's innovation sector continues to make strides, one of the featured keynote speakers at this year's conference is NASA Astronaut Col. E. Michael Fincke. Fincke, who joined NASA in 1996, served on two missions aboard the International Space Station and as a mission specialist aboard the last spaceflight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in May 2011. His combined extra-vehicular activity time from all three missions of 48 hours and 37 minutes, places Fincke 10th on the list of most spacewalk time.

"This year, we are fortunate that Col. Fincke will join our conference to discuss the outlook of space exploration and astronomy across the nation and its impacts on our state," said Rich Wacker, Hawaii Business Roundtable chairman. "The forum will also focus on matters relating to disaster management, cybersecurity and innovation to ensure that the local businesses and the academic communities understand these key growth areas for Hawai'i's economy."

The forum will feature presentations, interactive panel discussions, "poolside chats" and a networking reception, offering attendees opportunities to learn more about emerging technologies, research, and ways to engage in, and contribute to Hawai'i's growing innovation and technology industry.

University of Hawai'i President David Lassner added, "UH is committed to continue partnering with local businesses and government to help drive innovation in Hawai'i. Future Focus  provides us the opportunity to share our progress and capabilities as we also listen to and learn from leading experts in key growth areas in which our Hawai?i Innovation Initiative is working to help diversify the state's economy and create more living-wage jobs."

Featured presenters at the Future Focus forum include:  Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, Commanding General, U.S. Army Cyber Command, John Roth, Director of Business Development, Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems, and  Adelina Kamal, Executive Director, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (ASEAN).

The event will also feature the public launch of CyberHawaii, a partnership of local federal, state county, private industry, professional organizations and academia combining efforts to implement a "cyber-ecosystem" to defend Hawai'i against cyberattacks. CyberHawaii is aligned by CyberUSA, a non-profit "community of communities" governed by its members, established to enhance information sharing between states and improve cyber resilience at all levels of participation – local, regional and national – all while connecting the cyber ecosystem of the U.S and its allies.

The registration fee for the conference is $100 ($50 for students with ID), which also includes continental breakfast on both days and lunch and a reception on the first day. For more information and to register, visit

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