Patrick cites strength of higher ed as Mass. asset

Academia provides an edge in global competition for economic development

Photos/Sharona Jacobs Photography

Some of the 350-plus representatives of business, academia and government who attended Global Trade Summit.

EMC Senior Vice President Joel Schwartz opened the plenary session.

Delivering the keynote address at Brandeis International Business School's second-annual Global Trade Summit, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced that he will host the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff during a state visit next week.

“Brazil is an important commercial and cultural partner for Massachusetts and we are honored that the President will make time for us,” Patrick said.

The announcement launched a day-long exploration of business opportunities for Massachusetts firms looking to expand into emerging markets. Brazil, India, Israel and Turkey were the focus of the event, which convened over 350 representatives from business, academia and government. Consulate Generals from rising economies rubbed shoulders with top executives from local companies such as Kronos and EMC. Industry leaders from biotechnology and life sciences research engaged in deep discussions to forge and strengthen relationships for success in the global economy.

In an interview, Patrick spoke about the role academia plays in the Massachusetts economy, a theme explored by many others as well. Ken Brown from the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment characterized the Commonwealth's higher education capabilities as “a great calling card.” Energy entrepreneur Lamine Savadogo talked about the “Massachusetts Mystique,” adding that the state “has a reputation beyond its size because of our colleges and universities.”

Panelists explored Massachusetts’ global leadership in innovation sectors like clean energy, information technology and life sciences as other leverage points abroad. Avner Halperin, CEO of the Israeli IT company EarlySense, touted the new Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership, a grant program launched to promote research collaboration. Several Massachusetts agencies and the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist have committed $2 million to the project.

Conference sponsors included the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment, Mintz Levin, AIM International Business Council, Massachusetts Export Center, EMC, Global Atlantic Partners LLC, Sovereign/Santander, the Kauffman Foundation, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and the U.S. Commercial Service.

Categories: Business, International Affairs

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