Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s largest economic development agency, announced a bilateral agreement with the State of Massachusetts. The “Memorandum of Understanding” being signed by both organizations will include commitment to the provision of support to companies from the respective locations to help enter the European or US markets through use of the services of the respective organizations, and support for potential inward investors from each other’s countries.
Scottish Enterprise’s Chief Executive Jack Perry attended a reception at Genzyme Center—the world headquarters of the biotechnology company Genzyme Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts—to mark the occasion alongside Barbara Berke, Director of the Department of Business and Technology, which has responsibility for the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment. The pair were joined by a number of Scottish organizations already operating in New England and existing US inward investors into Scotland from the region, as well as members of the “Global Scot” network of senior Scots and people with an affinity for Scotland in business in the region.
Areas of collaboration will include the provision of market information; access to professional services such as lawyers, accountants, property providers, recruitment agencies, investors and relevant R&D expertise; and access to incubation facilities in each location. An early focus of the collaboration will be the life sciences industry.
“We are delighted with this two-way agreement, which has some clear goals and milestones. It is refreshing in such a competitive economy to see this level of cooperation and understanding between the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment and Scottish Enterprise,” said Barbara Berke, Director of the Massachusetts Department of Business and Technology.
Berke continued, “Massachusetts and Scotland share many relevant similarities, including a focus on some of the same priority clusters and a strong interest in commercializing technology. To that effect, we in Massachusetts are trying to take advantage of the strengths we have in university research as well as our strong entrepreneurial spirit to put products into production in a timely fashion.”
Jack Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Enterprise, said, “It is important to leverage the resources of like-minded economic development organizations in other parts of the world. Massachusetts has great strengths in university research and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. We share a number of relevant similarities including a focus on many of the same priority industries, such as microelectronics, optoelectronics, biotechnology and financial services.”
Perry continued, “The agreement signed with the State of Massachusetts follows on from our striking a similar accord with the Economic Development Board of Singapore last year and means we now have the support of leading economic development organizations in both North America and Asia to help Scottish companies enter new markets in those regions. We hope this new co-operation will soon reap benefits on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Scottish Development International opened its North American headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts last year and also has offices in Chicago, Houston and San Jose in the United States.