Healthier Shrimp May Mean Jumbo Profits for the University of Hawaii and One Local Company

Unique Business Partnership will Help UH Put its Technology to Work

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Apr 28, 2003

The University of Hawaiʻi and Genentex, a biotechnology company founded to commercialize a proprietary university aquaculture technology, have established their first joint venture. Genentex has exclusively licensed a gene transfer technology the university has been developing for several years and in turn, UH will own equity in the newly formed company.

The partnership between UH and Genentex will help the university to identify and take advantage of business opportunities that result from advances in research and development related to its gene transfer technology. Other institutions, such as Stanford University and University of Wisconsin, have successfully created alternative revenue streams using similar business models.

"When UH and private companies come together a strong entrepreneurial atmosphere is formed that generates new business, creates jobs, increases revenues and in this case, helps to improve an important segment of our economy," said UH President Evan S. Dobelle.

Based on UH‘s unique gene transfer technology, UH and Genentex are developing methods to make a variety of shrimp species resistant to viruses that cost the industry billions of dollars every year. Genentex believes that its proprietary gene transfer technology will revolutionize shrimp farming by eliminating disease, lowering operational costs and helping the environment. Genentex will license these technologies to major agribusinesses and governments as well as to large shrimp farms and hatcheries.

"When up to 40% of the worldwide shrimp production is destroyed by viral disease, we know that we‘re facing a major crisis affecting the lives of millions of people," said Genentex Co-Founder Randy Havre. "Our gene transfer technology makes shrimp healthier thus building strong businesses for farmers while simultaneously preserving the environment.