AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY:
Governor Deval L. Patrick
MA Innovation and Entrepreneurship Seminar - Kyoto
Kyoto Research Park, Science Hall
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Thank you, Mr. Takabatake, for that warm welcome. Members of the delegation, honored guests, good afternoon and thank you for joining us this afternoon to discuss ways that we can collaborate to prosper in today's innovation economy. We look forward to the remarks of of our keynote speaker and to the panel discussions that will follow?
Our delegation is here because, first and foremost, Japan is important to Massachusetts.
Japan is one of our most important trading partners, with approximately $2 billion of exports and over $900 million worth of Japanese imports. Over 130 Japanese companies support over 10,000 jobs in Massachusetts and 13,000 Japanese nationals make their home in Massachusetts.
We are culturally connected as well, through our universities, music (especially the Boston Symphony) and, of course, our beloved Boston Red Sox.
We believe there are opportunities for even greater commercial collaboration because of the emphasis placed both in Japan and in Massachusetts on innovation. So, as we talk further this afternoon about particular sectors of our respective innovation economies, let me try to place its importance in some context.
Our growth strategy in Massachusetts is to invest in education, innovation and infrastructure.
We invest in education because brainpower is our most abundant resource. There are over 300 universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals within a 90-minute drive of downtown Boston, an unusual concentration of knowledge. In many ways, education is as important to Massachusetts as oil is to Texas or corn is to Iowa. So, we cultivate it by investing money, time and new ideas in the public schools; in public higher education and college affordability; and in early education.
We invest in innovation because enabling and encouraging industries that depend on brainpower is the best way for Massachusetts to take advantage of the knowledge explosion happening in the world economy today. So, we have initiatives to grow the life sciences and biotech, clean and alternative energy, and digital technologies -- each one designed not to substitute for the private sector but to supplement it in strategic ways.
We support internship and mentoring programs at hundreds of companies to help us prepare and retain talent. And we support the entrepreneurs who bring ideas into the marketplace through technology transfer, proof of concept support and accelerator loans and grants for early-stage companies.
And finally we invest in infrastructure -- the unglamorous work of government -- because rebuilding roads, rails, bridges, expanding broadband to every community, building new classrooms and labs and more affordable housing not only creates jobs right now, but gives private initiative and personal ambition the platform for growth.
Education, innovation, infrastructure. It’s a strategy proven through history. And it’s working for us today.
Massachusetts has climbed out of recession faster than most other states and is growing faster than the national growth rate. We have re-gained all the jobs lost in the Great Recession, one of the first states in America to have achieved this milestone.
We are first in the nation in student achievement, economic competitiveness, entrepreneurial activity, science and technology, health care coverage, veterans services, clean tech investments, and energy efficiency.
Massachusetts has emerged as the top international supercluster in the life sciences and biotech, and as a national leader in clean and alternative energy, with double-digit year-over-year job growth in the latter sector in each of the last few years.
Because we are making more of the things we invent in our innovation economy, precision or advanced manufacturing is in the midst of a quiet renaissance.
I’m also pleased to report that our budgets are balanced, responsible and on-time, our bond rating is the highest in our history, and we have one of the largest rainy day funds in America.
An important part of our strategy is to look out, not just in. The doors of Massachusetts open to the world, and we are eager to strengthen our global relationships and build new ones. With the world in the midst of a knowledge explosion, capital more globalized than ever and talent trying to be as well, it is important for us to collaborate with innovators, inventors and investors outside of Massachusetts.
That's why we are here in Japan -- because we know that if we want to sharpen our edge in the innovation economy, and help to shape the future, we need to partner with you.
Thank you again for being here, and for the very warm reception. I look forward to working together.