The agreement creates an agreement between the two governments to formally collaborate on life sciences, technology and clean industry industries, among other areas.
“Massachusetts is a leader in the life sciences, clean energy and other innovation economy sectors,” Patrick said. “In order to maintain that edge, we must position ourselves for success in growing markets, like Colombia, to drive job growth and catalyze international investment.”
Calderon thanked Patrick for the visit, part of the Massachusetts-Columbia Innovation Partnership Mission, adding, “I am aware of how important the innovation ecosystem, technology, research are to Massachusetts and they are also important to Colombia. The state of Massachusetts has a lot to offer to Colombia and Colombia has much to offer to the United States and the state of Massachusetts.”
The memorandum is designed to enhance the science and technology development of both governments, as well as stimulate economic activity between the two. It will involve public and private institutions including universities, research centers, non-government organizations and private citizens. The agreement also calls for partnership in health and life sciences including biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
The agreement follows up on a free trade agreement the U.S. signed with Columbia in 2012 that created an estimated $1.1 billion new market for U.S. exports. Massachusetts is hoping that their new partnership with Columbia will kick off a new wave of job creation on the state.
Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said agreements such as this one might be the key to innovation in the future.
“No one country or region can solve the challenge of developing the next generation of drugs and medical devices on its own,” said Windham-Bannister, who’s Center is responsible for implementing Massachusetts’ 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative. “The breakthroughs of tomorrow will only be possible through collaboration like that which we hope to foster between Massachusetts and Colombia.”