For Immediate Release - November 15, 2013


 BOSTON – Friday, November 15, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced he will lead a coalition of the Commonwealth’s government and industry leaders on a Massachusetts – Asia Innovation Partnership Mission to strengthen the state’s partnerships with Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and this region for economic development and job creation in the cleantech, innovation, life sciences, financial services and transportation sectors.

From December 7-17, 2013, the Innovation Economy Mission will make stops in Kyoto and Tokyo in Japan, as well as Singapore and Hong Kong, where the Governor and members of the delegation will visit companies in the innovation sector, speak with various business organizations and associations, and meet with top business and government leaders to highlight all that Massachusetts has to offer. These visits and meetings will focus on expanding opportunities for job creation in the life sciences, IT, water technology, clean energy and transportation sectors and solidifying the growing connection between Massachusetts, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

“In order for Massachusetts to create lasting growth and opportunity for our residents, we must compete for jobs on the global playing field,” said Governor Patrick. “This mission offers us a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our relationships with Asia’s fastest growing economies.” 

During the course of the mission, the Governor and delegation members will meet with top Asian government officials and business leaders, as well as their American counterparts. The Governor will also participate in a series of sessions focused on the Commonwealth’s innovation economy sectors, as well as the financial services and entrepreneurship sectors. Governor Patrick will also visit with top transportation leaders in Japan and throughout Asia to learn more about new global technologies being pursued in transportation and how some of those technologies may be applied in Massachusetts.

"I hope that Governor Patrick's visit to Japan will substantively enhance the relationship between Massachusetts and Japan as both sides strive to promote innovation and growth in the 21st century," said Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Boston.

Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will also convene Japanese industry and policy leaders in health information technology in Tokyo to discuss collaborations and partnerships between the emerging health IT industry sectors in each region and public policies spurring health technology adoption in each region. The Governor and members of the delegation will also visit the Future Urban Mobility Project in Singapore, a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which develops innovative pilot projects using big data analytics to address urban transportation challenges.

“This mission provides us with the opportunity to share Massachusetts’ thriving entrepreneurship culture and leading technology sectors with business and policy leaders across Asia, while helping to open new markets for technologies made in the Commonwealth,” said Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “We are excited about the opportunity to foster connections across key emerging technology sub-sectors, including Big Data and eHealth.”

The Massachusetts-Asia Connection:

In 2012, Japan had the world’s third largest gross domestic product (GDP) and was the third largest export partner to Massachusetts, with the Commonwealth exporting approximately $2 billion worth of goods and services to Japan. In 2012, Japan was also the Commonwealth’s 7th largest import partner, with Massachusetts importing approximately $926.21 million worth of Japanese goods and services.  According to the Japanese Consulate, over 130 Japanese companies support over 10,000 jobs in Massachusetts and approximately 13,000 Japanese nationals make their home in Massachusetts. Last year, Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Port Authority announced the first non-stop flight linking Boston and Japan via Japan Airlines (JAL), which the Governor will fly to Japan. Since the commencement of service, the flight has grown in popularity and continues to deepen the connections between the Commonwealth and Japan.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) maintains a strong relationship with Japanese companies and government officials in an effort to build a strong foundation for collaboration between the two entities.  In October 2012 and 2013, the MLSC participated in BIOJapan and last year, MLSC staff joined the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) for a visit with Yuji Kuroiwa, the Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture to discuss the life sciences sector in Kanagawa, an area similar to Massachusetts in the life sciences industry development. While Massachusetts companies have long had a successful commercial presence in Japan, which is an important market for sophisticated medical advances, the Commonwealth has recently emerged as a favored destination for Japanese life sciences companies looking to enter the U.S. market.  Japanese life sciences companies that have opened offices in Massachusetts in the last two years include Reprocell, Scivax and HMT. In addition, the MLSC has worked closely with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals, Takeda, Sony DADC and Fuji Pharmaceuticals, which are creating an expanded presence in Massachusetts.

In efforts to diversify its power grid with more renewable energy sources, Japan has begun testing a floating wind farm off the coast of Fukushima, with plans to expand the farm to 140 turbines and 1,000 megawatts. During the Mission, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is planning meetings with the companies developing this project, mainly Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi, and Hitachi, to learn best practices as Massachusetts is a North American hub of the burgeoning offshore wind industry. Massachusetts is home to the largest indoor wind blade testing facility in the world and has begun the construction of the first port in the United States equipped to handle the heavy loads associated with deploying offshore wind projects.  

“Collaborations that reach across national boundaries help Massachusetts-born companies expand globally and help bring new ideas back home,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “Massachusetts is a global leader in clean energy and this mission brings opportunities for strengthening the economic ties between our two countries.”

Hong Kong is the Commonwealth’s 11th largest export partner, exporting $708.9 million to the Commonwealth in 2012. Hong Kong is also a top international financial and commercial center and a key global logistics and service hub. The United States is the largest importer of goods and services from Hong Kong, consuming approximately 74 percent of all the Special Administrative Region’s exports in 2012.

Singapore was the Commonwealth’s 16th largest export partner and 17th  largest import partner in 2012 and is positioning itself to be Southeast Asia’s financial, high-tech and life sciences center. A country of just under 5.5 million, Singapore has developed a highly successful free market economy and has a strong international port operation through the Port of Singapore, considered one of the world’s busiest ports.  In an average month in 2012, the Port of Singapore handled approximately 44.8 million tons of cargo (compared to approximately 730,000 tons for an average month of cargo handled in 2012 in the Port of Boston). Primary exports from Singapore include consumer electronics and pharmaceutical products. The country is supporting a fast growing services sector in information technology and financial services and approximately 1,500 American companies use Singapore as a regional base for Asian operations. In 2000, the government of Singapore identified biomedical sciences as one of four pillars of its economy and employs several boards and councils through which it funds and supports public and private research initiatives and activities. These include: A*STAR, the Economic Development Board’s Biomedical Sciences Group (BMSG), BioOne Capital and the Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council.

Singapore is a also global leader of water innovation technologies. With no sources of clean, potable water, Singapore has cultivated innovative techniques to reduce dependence on foreign water imports – such as new approaches to treat and collect rainwater and that transform seawater bays into freshwater. MassCEC, which launched a water technology industry development effort this year, will convene meetings and participate on tours with Massachusetts-based water technology business leaders and Singapore-based innovators, to share ideas and explore business opportunities on the Mission.

"Governor Patrick's leadership on clean energy and water, the exceptional academic and business resources in Massachusetts, and Singapore's demonstrated global leadership in water Issues set the stage for a very powerful collaboration," said Earl Jones, a principal member at Liberation Capital in Boston, will travel to Singapore.  

"The Massachusetts water sector is growing and I am excited to participate in the Massachusetts Delegation to Singapore where we will engage with Governor Patrick and Singapore water industry officials to discuss collaboration," said Matt Silver, CEO at Boston-based Cambrian Innovations, who will also travel to Singapore.

 “We look forward to discussing clean energy development with our Asian partners, as we share common goals to grow the industry and create jobs,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “The Patrick Administration has a history of bringing together the right people to grow a sector, and we know that working together, the opportunity for growth in clean energy, including wind and water innovation, is promising.”

“Massachusetts continues to be a global hub of innovation due to our comprehensive economic development strategy and key investments in education,” said Secretary for the Department of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “This trade mission to Asia will allow the Commonwealth to continue exploring opportunities to strengthen collaboration around clean energy, life sciences, education and transportation.”

"Asia is home to some very innovative transportation assets," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. " I look forward to a valuable exchange of ideas and the opportunity to develop partnerships that will result in transportation improvements here at home."

Previous Innovation Missions Results in Job Growth and Business Expansion:

In March 2011, Governor Patrick led a coalition of the Commonwealth’s leaders on a mission to Israel and the United Kingdom. Following the mission, UK-based companies Cambridge Consultants, Sagentia and TotalMobile announced plans to expand and add jobs in Massachusetts. Israeli biotech firm EarlySense also announced it is adding jobs and establishing its U.S. headquarters in Waltham. Israeli company Desalitech, Ltd., a provider of advanced water treatment solutions, announced in December that it will be establishing its U.S. headquarters in Massachusetts. The company will use this location as its base for expanding its customer base and operations in U.S. industrial water treatment markets where most manufacturing plants require purified water for their operations.

In December of 2011, Governor Patrick led a trade mission to Brazil and Chile focused on creating jobs in the life sciences, IT, clean energy and education sectors and solidifying the already strong Massachusetts-Brazil connection. During the trade mission to Chile and Brazil, Governor Patrick signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera that expands collaboration between Massachusetts and Chile in the areas of clean energy, biotechnology and education; participated in EMC’s groundbreaking of a new Big Data facility at Federal University in Rio de Janeiro; announced an agreement between Massachusetts-based Akamai and Sky Brasil, a Brazilian television subscription company, to bring online video rental services to the country; and announced an academic exchanges program between faculty and students from Brazilian and American Universities, including the University of Massachusetts system.

In February 2013, Governor Patrick led a trade mission to Colombia to promote job creation and expand economic opportunity and partnerships with Latin America. As part of that mission, Governor Patrick and President of the Republic of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize collaboration between Massachusetts and Colombia in the areas of science, technology and innovation, including in the life sciences, digital technology and clean energy industries. Last year, the United States signed a free trade agreement with Colombia, opening up an estimated $1.1 billion market for U.S. exports.

In October, Governor Patrick traveled to Canada, participating in several business roundtables and meetings with top business leaders in the innovation economy sectors to foster opportunities for collaboration between Massachusetts and Canadian businesses. Governor Patrick also delivered the keynote address at the Canada Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) conference, promoting the Commonwealth’s growing clean energy sector as a market open for business. In Toronto, the Governor participated in a tourism industry event sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism; and in Montreal, the Governor addressed a group of top Canadian business and academic leaders at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations to discuss opportunities for mutual partnership and growth in key sectors between Massachusetts and Canada.

Official Delegation for the Massachusetts-Asia Innovation Economy Mission:  

Governor Deval Patrick

Secretary Greg Bialecki, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Secretary Rick Sullivan, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Secretary Rich Davey, MassDOT

Susan Windham-Bannister, PhD, President & CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

Pamela Goldberg, CEO, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

Alicia Barton, CEO, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Richard Elam, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment

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