For Immediate Release - May 07, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH JAPAN’S KANAGAWA PREFECTURE GOVERNOR YUJI KUROIWA TO GROW INNOVATION ECONOMY PARTNERSHIPS

Kanagawa Prefecture MOU Signing

Governor Patrick and members of his cabinet join Governor Yuki Kuroiwa of Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture for an announcement relative to collaboration between Massachusetts’ and Kanagawa’s Life Sciences, innovation and education sectors in Nurses Hall at the State House. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor's Press Office)

BOSTON – Wednesday, May 7, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kanagawa Prefecture Governor Yuji Kuroiwa to expand collaboration between Massachusetts and Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture in the innovation economy, with a focus on growing jobs and opportunities in the areas of life sciences, big data, clean energy, robotics and healthcare information technology.

"This agreement will foster new commercial partnerships in the vital innovation industries in both Massachusetts and Kanagawa Prefecture,” said Governor Patrick. "That's how we grow jobs and opportunity in today's global economy."

The MOU with Kanagawa is the product of a meeting between Governor Patrick and Governor Kuroiwa during the Massachusetts-Japan Innovation Partnership Mission in December 2013. 

“This MOU generates a ‘win-win relationship’ that will enable both parties to collaborate and act to their fullest potential, bringing great advances in developing innovative technologies for patients around the world,” said Governor Kuroiwa. “Our final mission is to extend the healthy lifespan of the world, through the curing of diseased states and the pursuit for a faster, cheaper, safer and better healthcare. Together with Massachusetts, we shall complete my mission with the passion and the action for the people and the patients around the world.”

The MOU enhances economic activity between Massachusetts and Kanagawa and will increase academic exchanges, as well as improve collaboration between the Commonwealth’s quasi-public agencies and their relevant counterparts in Kanagawa.

“Today, we are taking another step to ensure that Massachusetts remains an active player in the 21st century global economy,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Through this increased collaboration, we are strengthening our ties abroad and expanding the reach of our innovation industries.”

In Massachusetts, a number of state entities will be involved in carrying out the mission of the MOU, including the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech), and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).

“We are extremely pleased that our mission to Japan has resulted in this important agreement with Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture,” said Massachusetts Office of Business Development Executive Director Richard Elam. “This international collaboration offers the world the best of Japan’s and America’s life sciences and broader innovation technologies.”

“Today’s agreement will strengthen the collaboration between companies and academic institutions in two leading life sciences communities – the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan and Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Life Sciences President and CEO Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister. “On behalf of the MLSC, I congratulate Governor Patrick and Governor Yuki Kuroiwa for creating opportunities for partnerships that will promote economic development in both of our geographies and, most importantly, scientific advancements that will benefit the global community.”

“The Massachusetts-Asia Partnership Mission, an effort led by Governor Patrick and Secretary Bialecki, was a unique opportunity for us to meet dynamic leaders like Governor Kuroiwa and to establish relationships with key partners in Kanagawa,” stated Pamela Goldberg, chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “The Mission also furthered our connections in key sectors such as health IT, robotics, and big data, which will help advance partnerships between innovators in the Commonwealth and the Kanagawa Prefecture.”

“Massachusetts clean energy companies are expanding on the global stage and see Japan as a fertile marketplace,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “Working together, Massachusetts and Japanese companies can help solve the world’s greatest energy issues.”

The Kanagawa Government, under the direction of Governor Kuroiwa, has focused on the development of innovation industries and has launched a new “Global Collaborative Center” (GCC) initiative to boost exchanges in the healthcare and life sciences sector. 

Since his innovation mission to Japan, the Governor has met with Japanese Senior Vice Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and Japanese Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi to continue discussions surrounding continued collaboration between the Commonwealth and Japan.

More than 130 Japanese companies support over 10,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and approximately 13,000 Japanese nationals have made Massachusetts their home. In 2013, Japan was Massachusetts’ fifth largest export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $1.762 billion in goods and services.

In 2012, Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Port Authority announced the first non-stop flight linking Boston and Japan via Japan Airlines (JAL). Since the commencement of service, the flight has grown in popularity and continues to deepen the connections between the Commonwealth and Japan.

From December 7-17, 2013, Governor Patrick led a coalition of the Commonwealth’s government and industry leaders on the Massachusetts – Asia Innovation Partnership Mission to strengthen the state’s partnerships with Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and region for economic development and job creation in the innovation, life sciences, financial services, clean tech and transportation sectors.

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