This weekend Governor Deval Patrick and a delegation of seven people from various Massachusetts technology organizations and groups will embark on a two-week trip to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan as part of a Massachusetts-Asia Innovation Partnership Mission to develop ties between Massachusetts and Asian innovation sectors as well as push for endeavors in cooperative economic development.
The countries chosen as destinations are significant because of the relationships they already have with Massachusetts. Japan is the state’s third-largest export partner and seventh-largest important partner, according to a press release by the governor’s office. The Japanese Consulate states there are 13,000 Japanese currently living in the state and over 130 Japanese companies support jobs here. These high numbers, along with the recent addition of a nonstop Boston to Tokyo flight last year, show that ties between the two regions are more prominent than ever.
Job creation will also be a primary focus of the trip, particularly in the area of cleantech, transportation, IT, life sciences and water technology. All three Asian nations are renowned for their highly-advanced and technological infrastructure as well as innovations in IT.
Representatives from the following state organizations and companies will be accompanying Patrick to Asia: the Office of Housing and Economic Development, MassDOT, the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment. These groups all have a tech edge and aim to get a better sense of the industries overseas for future projects at home and abroad.
Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, said in a statement to BostInno that the goal of the trip is to make new connections between innovation leaders in the Commonwealth and “dynamic technology leaders” in Asia as well as to jumpstart new technical collaborations in big data and health IT. New consumer markets will also be identified for future products.
Goldberg also said they will visit existing research projects, like the Future Urban Mobility project in Singapore, a collaboration with MIT to improve transportation safety and comfort as well as to eliminate the carbon footprint of transportation systems.
“[This visit] will allow us to highlight how the project is using real-time data analysis to study urban transportation patterns and create technologies to track and predict traffic patterns,” Goldberg said. “[This is] an effort that could deliver tangible benefits for commuters around the Commonwealth.”
This isn’t the first time that the governor has been on an international trade mission. In 2011, Patrick traveled to Brazil and Chile in efforts to create life sciences, IT and education jobs. Most recently in October Patrick went to Canada to promote business opportunities between the two neighbors.
Image via The AP