Meetings Result in Agreements to Improve Collaboration Around Life Sciences, Clean Energy, Transportation and Higher Education
BOSTON – Monday, December 10, 2007 – Governor Deval Patrick today highlighted progress made on the Massachusetts-China relationship during the Commonwealth’s first governor-led trade mission to China in seven years, including agreements signed between life science and clean energy groups in Massachusetts and China, a new exchange opportunity for the University of Massachusetts and moving a step closer to nonstop air service from Boston to Beijing.
“This was a powerful trip, and we have returned with many new opportunities for Massachusetts companies to do business or strengthen relationships in China,” said Governor Patrick. “The openness to our universities and entrepreneurs was encouraging, and I look forward to the many benefits the follow up produces.”
Governor Patrick and members of the delegation met with high-level government officials, including the Vice Minister of Commerce, and the Ministers of Environment, Science and Technology, and the General Administration of Civil Aviation. The delegation also met with key industry representatives such as the Chinese Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, Grand China Airlines and Wu Xi Pharmaceuticals.
The trade mission, which lasted six days and included trips to Beijing and Shanghai, resulted in several agreements made between entities across life sciences, clean energy, transportation and higher education in Massachusetts and China.
For example, Massport CEO and Executive Director Tom Kinton and Governor Patrick met with high-ranking representatives from Grand China Airlines to move closer toward a final agreement for nonstop air service from Boston to Beijing. The airline has applied to Chinese regulatory authorities for permission to operate the flight. Service between the two cities could begin as soon as the summer of 2009, pending delivery of the new Boeing 787 aircraft to the airline. Nearly 70,000 people travel between Boston and Beijing and Shanghai each year, and this service will create more opportunities for business travelers and tourists to fly more quickly and easily to China.
Governor Patrick and members of the delegation met with CEOs of companies in the life science, clean energy and transportation industries, leading to a number of new opportunities to strengthen those markets in Massachusetts and some agreements to promote sharing ideas and resources to advance these industries. Some examples include:
Organogenesis, a Canton-based company that develops regenerative medicine technology, signed an agreement with the National Tissue Engineering Center in Shanghai to share resources and open the door for Organogenesis to export its manufactured products to China, and eventually other parts of Asia. Both companies also agreed to work toward manufacturing existing cell therapies on site in Shanghai. That agreement will lead to economic growth here at home and benefit millions of Chinese patients suffering with chronic, open wounds.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative signed an agreement with the Chinese Wind Energy Association to promote wind energy research conducted in Massachusetts by Chinese companies working with Massachusetts' Universities and to establish an International Wind Energy Fund of up to $200,000 per year to promote research, the exchange of ideas and provision of advice concerning wind energy technology in China, as the country works to address its issues surrounding development and pollution.
The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC) signed an agreement with the Chinese Association for Medical Device Industry (CAMDI) to promote economic and technical development collaborations and partnerships from both sides.
Governor Patrick announced the official opening of the Massachusetts Technology Center on Thursday at the Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, encouraging innovation and collaboration between businesses in Massachusetts and China.
Representatives from the University of Massachusetts, Harvard and MIT strengthened their ties with Chinese academic institutions, including Tsinghua University, and participated in meetings with Chinese scientists and entrepreneurs on topics such as life sciences and renewable energy. During the trip, the CEO of WuXi PharmaTech asked the University of Massachusetts about the possibility of pursing an academic-industry partnership that would include coordinating educational visits for company scientists and possibly making online courses and other degree programs available to employees. UMass President Jack M. Wilson agreed to explore a relationship based on the University's existing programs for Massachusetts-based companies and industry groups. UMass Nobel laureate Dr. Craig Mello also addressed students and faculty at Tsinghua University in Beijing.