For Immediate Release - March 10, 2011

GOVERNOR PATRICK SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL TO STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP, ENCOURAGE COLLABORATION BETWEEN MASSACHUSETTS AND ISRAELI INNOVATION ECONOMIES

MOU Signing
 

Governor Patrick and Shalom Simhon, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Jerusalem. (Photo Credit: Alex Goldstein/Governor's Office)
 

JERUSALEM - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel that will allow for further collaboration in research and development (R&D) programs between Massachusetts and Israeli companies.

During a meeting with Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor in Tel Aviv this afternoon, Governor Patrick and Mr. Hasson discussed Israel and Massachusetts' mutual commitment to life sciences and clean and alternative energy research, and how this new agreement will strengthen the partnership between Massachusetts and Israel to facilitate greater economic development and job creation opportunities in the years ahead.

"Today, we take a new step that will ensure our mutual prosperity and leverage the talents of our uniquely skilled workforces," said Governor Deval Patrick. "This Memorandum of Understanding formalizes our already strong relationship and builds a framework to explore new research and development opportunities in the innovation economy. The agreement will strengthen out ties to our partners in Israel and help support job growth in both Massachusetts' and Israel's innovation industries."

This agreement comes on the fourth day of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission, a ten-day trade mission to Israel and the United Kingdom (UK) where Governor Patrick and a coalition of the state's leading business executives and senior government officials are exploring growth opportunities within the Commonwealth's innovation-based industries - technology, life sciences and clean energy - and areas of common interest between the state's established and emerging partners in Israel and the UK.

The MOU signed with Israel today will allow the Massachusetts International Trade Office and the Office of the Chief Scientist to work together to identify pre-existing programs in their respective jurisdictions and explore how those programs can partner resources to expedite and enhance both new and ongoing R&D projects. The MOU will enable entities like the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to work across international lines with counterparts in Israel to enhance their competitiveness in these key sectors.

"MassCEC is a unique public entity dedicated entirely to accelerating job growth and economic development in the Massachusetts clean energy industry," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., who chairs MassCEC's board of directors. "Its role as a clearinghouse and support center for the Commonwealth's clean energy sector will be strengthened through this agreement, and we look forward to exploring new opportunities with our Israeli partners."

"This agreement builds upon a strong existing relationship between Massachusetts and Israel and will facilitate the identification of joint investment opportunities that will further that relationship," said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and a member of the official delegation. "By working with our counterparts in Israel, we will seek to promote research collaborations, industrial partnerships, and collaborative investment in early-stage technologies, all with the bookend objectives of job growth and scientific discovery."

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center will pursue follow-up implementation projects with counterpart agencies in Israel involving collaborative programs that will provide economic and scientific benefit to both regions.

"Both Massachusetts and Israel share a strong research and development community that is key to our clean energy leadership," said MassCEC Executive Director Patrick Cloney. "We look forward to collaborating and partnering with Israel in clean tech research and development projects with the ultimate goal of helping clean energy enterprises achieve success faster."

Today there are nearly 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies in Massachusetts. In 2009, these companies employed nearly 6,000 people and generated $2.4 billion in direct revenue for the state. Local firms exported over $180 million worth of goods to Israel in 2009 and, at 12.35 percent, the United States is Israel's largest source of imports. An important market for health-related technologies, Israel is home to 377 hospitals, and 37,000 practicing physicians.

For updates, please visit www.mass.gov/governor/innovationmission.

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