The Department of Research and Development focuses on economic development that reflects community values and respects the Island's culture and environment.
- R&D supports economic development that enables a diverse, stable economy, with an emphasis on balancing natural, cultural and economic capital.
- R&D's Business Resources and Industry Development Programs promote island grown businesses of all sectors by supporting industry and entrepreneurial capacity building efforts.
- R&D's Agriculture and Food Systems Program promotes a diversified sector with a range of businesses that support local food self-sufficiency and competitive export markets.
- The Tourism Program encourages initiatives that are compatible with historic and natural resources and are not intrusive in Island communities.
- The Creative Industries and Film Program focuses on the wealth of creativity on Hawaiʻi Island, and on showcasing the best of the Island to the world through film.
- R&D's Energy Program champions dependable, resilient, efficient, lower cost, and renewable energy systems.
- R&D's Climate Change Program supports programs that protect Hawaiʻi Island's natural and cultural assets, and programs that help Hawaiʻi Island mitigate and adapt to climate change.