Akamai Funders 

Current Funders (2021-2022 Akamai activities)

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) currently provides funding in support of Akamai’s mentor community, including the ISEE/Akamai Mentor Workshop (AST-173117) and a mentor conference to be held in 2021 (AST-2034962).

Funding from the NSF directly supports Akamai interns through the NSF funded Danieal K. Inouye Solar Telescope and Gemini Observatory, as well as the Keck All-Sky Precision Adaptive Optics (KAPA) (AST-1836015), Keck Planet Finder project (AST#2034278), and the Event Horizon Telescope (AST#2034306) 

The NSF is Akamai’s longest running funder, providing approximately $4.3 million over twenty years. NSF funded the initial development of Akamai, and the first eight years of the program through the NSF Center for Adaptive Optics (AST-9876783), as well as through additional grants: AST-1643290, AST1347767; AST1113324; AST-0836053, AST-0710699, and AST-0850532. 

NSF’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope

The National Science Foundation’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) began funding Akamai in 2011, with funding directed toward students from across the state working on DKIST projects related to the construction phase of the telescope. DKIST has provided more than $640,000 and also supports Akamai by contributing personnel time for scientists and engineers to play key roles on Akamai’s instructional teams. 


University of California Observatories

University of California Observatories will support three interns to complete projects supporting Hawaii telescope partners, and working at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Gemini Observatory

Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab, will support two interns to complete projects at Gemini North in Hilo, Hawaii.

Career Connected Learning at Hawai‘i Community Foundation

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) is funding one Akamai through their Career Connected Learning program, including the THINK Fund at HCF (funded by the Thirty Meter Telescope) and the Maunakea Fund (funded by Maunakea Observatories).

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation has provided funding for Akamai since 2015, specifically for students from Hawai‘i Island, doing projects in a wide range of science and technology fields on Hawai‘i Island and Maui. HCF has provided more than $650,000 to Akamai since 2015.

Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope

Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope provides housing for Waimea-based interns for their seven-week projects.

Past funding for Akamai has been provided by:

U. S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force provides funding for Akamai interns to work on Air Force related projects at the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site, as well as with the tech companies supporting the Air Force, on Maui. The Air Force has been funding Akamai since 2007, and a total of more than $1.5 million through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-15-1-0427; FA 9550-10-1-0044; and via NSF AST-0710699) and the Air Force Research Laboratory in collaboration with New Mexico Institute of Technology.

The Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory

TIO provided substantial funding to Akamai from 2010-2020. In total, TMT contributed more than $1.3 million to Akamai. TIO personnel are actively involved in Akamai, serving as mentors and continuing to contribute to the program in many ways. In addition to directly funding Akamai, TIO funding came to Akamai through the THINK Fund administered by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

TIO also funded the first ISEE/Akamai mentor workshop, continuing to be the workshop site sponsor through 2019, and funded Akamai Hana Hou in 2018, a reunion event for Akamai alumni. 

The University of Hawai‘i

The University of Hawai‘i provided more than $1.1 million in funding over the period of 2008-2015 to support statewide students to participate in any Akamai project. In 2019, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo waived the UH Hilo summer tuition for the Akamai course for five UH Hilo students.

Maunakea Observatories

The Maunakea Observatories group has provided funding to support the expenses of the 4 day PREP course, kicking off the 7 week internship program.

Institute for Astronomy

The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy will support one intern to complete a project at their Hilo facility, with partial funding from the National Science Foundation (AST-712014).

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The Monty Richards Hawai‘i Island Community Award – Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation

The Akamai Workforce Initiative was honored to receive one of the 2017 Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation Monty Richards Hawai‘i Island Community Leadership Awards, recognizing exemplary nonprofit leadership. The award was used to support college students from Hawai‘i Island from low or moderate income households to participate in the Akamai Internship Program.

The Akamai Workforce Initiative

The cost of supporting a college student from Hawai‘i in the Akamai Internship Program is approximately $16,000. Your donation helps make this valuable program available to more students.

The Akamai Workforce Initiative is part of the Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators at University of California, Santa Cruz.