PISCES is a state-funded Hawaii aerospace center operating under the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). Based in Hilo, our agency is working to position Hawaii as a leader in space exploration while developing sustainable technologies and industries that benefit Hawaii and space exploration. Through Economic Development, Workforce Development and Applied Research initiatives, we also provide unique applied learning experiences to Hawaii’s next generation of scientists, researchers and engineers, preparing them to meet the demands of a highly competitive industry while improving economic conditions through job diversification, innovative products and new industries.
PISCES was founded in 2007 by Dr. Frank Schowengerdt, a former director at NASA’s Research Partnership Centers, and affiliated with the University of Hawaii at Hilo. In June 2012, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Act 169 into law, supporting the expansion of PISCES’ aerospace technology testing facilities. The State awarded $2.3 million in funding and legislatively transferred PISCES from UHH to DBEDT. PISCES now employs five staff led by Program Director Rodrigo Romo. In 2016, the agency refocused its mission to address three core objectives: Economic Development, Workforce Development and Applied Research.