"Okinawa Prefecture, in 2010, signed the “Memorandum of Cooperation Regarding the Hawai'i Okinawa Partnership on Clean and Efficient Energy Development and Deployment” (renewed in 2015, completed in 2020) which was also signed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the State of Hawai’i. Based on the background of the cooperative relationship and the history of exchanges between the State of Hawai’i and Okinawa Prefecture, in May 2021, the State of Hawai’i and Okinawa Prefecture signed the “Memorandum of Cooperation Regarding the Hawai’i Okinawa Partnership on Clean Energy” and will work together to realize sustainable island societies. As one effort, we will hold workshops on the theme of clean energy in an online format" ~Okinawa Prefecture HP.




The Agenda is now available for download here (PDF). Please note that some details may change.



June 23, 2017 (Friday) (From 8am)

June 24, 2017 (Saturday) (From 8:30am)


NELHA and King Kamehameha Hotel

Day 1(6/23) at NELHA

AM:    ・8:00- | Registration / Check-in

Register and get your badge at Hale Iako South Entrance

・8:30-9:30 | Optional Group Tours of NEHLA Grounds, Local Industry, etc.


・9:30-10:30 | Optional Tour to Big Island Abalone


・10:30 | Welcome and Introductions at Hale Iako Incubator


PM:    ・13:00 | Keynotes

・14:30 | Energy Strategy and Goals

・15:30 | Group Discussions and Networking

・17:00 | Closing

Day 2 (6/24) at King Kamehameha Hotel

AM:    ・8:30 | Opening Keynote

・9:10 | Economic Development and Tourism Session

・10:10 | Economic Development and Industry Session

・11:00 | OTEC Technologies and the Environment 1

PM:    ・13:10 | OTEC Technologies and the Environment 2

・14:05 | Group Discussions

・15:20 | Panel Discussion

・17:00 | Closing


Please note that the information provided above may be subject to change.

Keynote Speakers

Day 1

  • Prof. Baughman


    Dr. Robert Baughman - OIST

    Executive Vice President for Technology Development and Innovation,Vice-CEO,Professor

    Prof. Robert Baughman trained in chemistry at Harvard University, was a faculty member in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School, and was appointed Associate Director of the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. At NIH he led the development of the trans-NIH Training Program in Neuroscience; the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience; establishment of the Translational Research for Neurological Disorders program, trans-NIH shared resource programs in instrumentation, genomics, animal models and therapeutics development; the NIH Technology Transfer & Intellectual Property Committee; the NIH Planning Committee on Data Sharing and Intellectual Property; the NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats Research Network; NIH shared information technology development; revision of the NIH Center for Scientific Review peer review system for neuroscience; the NIH Public-Private Partnerships program; and the US-JAPAN Brain Research Cooperative Program. In 2005 he became a part-time advisor to the OIST Promotion Corporation, and in 2007 he joined full-time as Vice President and Executive Director of the OIST Promotion Corporation, where he guided the development of OIST from the design and construction of the campus and laboratories to full accreditation as a graduate university in November 2011. Prof. Baughman served as the first Provost of OIST Graduate University and is now Executive Vice President for Technology Development and Innovation. He has a long standing interest in graduate education in Japan and lectured at Tokyo Medical and Dental University and other universities in Japan.

  • Stephen Walls


    Stephen Walls- US DOE

    Policy Advisor, Strategic Programs

    Mr. Stephen Walls, Esq., works to improving energy security and sustainability by transitioning away from a dependence on imported fuels through a focus on local and renewable energy resources.

    Stephen helped create the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Transition Initiative, and was the lead content developer for its Islands Playbook, which was published in early 2015. He is currently supporting the implementation of the Islands Playbook in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and coordinates closely with partners who are implementing the Playbook in other communities.

    Before his tenure at DOE, Stephen worked in global government relations and capital markets for a Fortune 50 company. He earned his J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and undergraduate degrees in Economics and International Relations from the University of Delaware.

  • Master of Ceremonies

  • John DeFries


    John De Fries- Native Sun Business Group Inc.

    President and Principal Advisor

    Established in 1993, Native Sun is a consulting and project management company with a core philosophy of respect for the symbiotic relationship that exists between commerce, culture, community and the natural environment. Utilizing this premise as a business platform has enabled John to advise a wide array of clients and to help restore distressed projects and investments in Hawaii. John serves on the Boards of Kualoa Ranch, Friends of NELHA (Natural Energy Laboratory), Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Memorial Committee and Friends of the Future. Later this year, he will return to the Board of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

Day 2

  • Henk Rogers


    Henk Rogers- Blue Planet Foundation

    Founder and Chairman

    Henk B. Rogers is a Dutch-born entrepreneur and clean energy visionary, who has dedicated the past decade of his career to the research, development, advocacy and implementation of renewable energy sources in his adopted home of Hawaii and beyond.

    Rogers studied computer science at the University of Hawaii and spent his early career in Japan as a video game designer, gaining distinction for producing the country’s first role-playing game, The Black Onyx. Rogers went on to revolutionize the video game industry by securing the rights for the blockbuster Tetris, which 30 years later remains a bestseller and global icon of gaming culture.

    Today, Rogers serves as chairman of Blue Planet Software, the sole agent for the Tetris franchise; founder of Blue Planet Foundation, the state’s leading nonprofit clean energy advocate; founder of Blue Startups, Hawaii’s first venture accelerator for local technology entrepreneurs; and founder of Blue Planet Research, which is working on off-grid solutions and exploring the hydrogen economy.

    Through educational outreach, policy advancement and the development of statewide programs, Blue Planet Foundation is on the front line as Hawaii progresses toward energy independence to meet its 2045 100 percent clean energy goal. Blue Planet Foundation’s annual energy report card has become a key marker assessing the state’s renewable energy efforts and areas of improvement.

    Most recently, Rogers founded Blue Planet Energy Systems to advance his mission of ending the use of carbon-based fuel worldwide, with Hawaii leading the charge. He led the development of Blue Ion, a prepackaged energy storage solution combining Sony’s industry-leading battery technology with proprietary system architecture and energy management software.

    Rogers has also taken the position of Chairman of PISCES (the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems) to move mankind towards becoming a multi-planetary species.

  • Panel Moderator

  • Patrick Takahashi


    Dr. Patrick Takahashi- Natural Energy Institute at University of Hawaii

    Director Emeritus

    Drafted the original OTEC legislation when working for the U.S. Senate in 1979.

    Served as secretary of the NELHA Board in the 1980's.

    Hired the PICHTR team for the 210 kW open cycle OTEC experiment at NELHA in the '90s.

    Co-authored with Andy Trenka the book, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, for the United Nations, published by Wiley in 1996.

Past Workshops