Media Inquiries:

Media Inquiries:

Robert Fitzpatrick
(617) 315-9352
Sep 26, 2013 –

Contact: Heather Johnson, Bonnie McGilpin, Juli Hanscom – 617-725-4025 

Governor Deval Patrick today announced he will lead a delegation of the Commonwealth’s government leaders on a Massachusetts – Canada Innovation Partnership Mission to strengthen the state’s partnership with Canada and expand opportunities between the two for economic development and job creation in the clean-tech, innovation, digital health, financial services, digital gaming, life sciences and academic sectors.

“Canada and Massachusetts are already significant trading partners and there is much more we can mutually gain," said Governor Patrick.  "This trip is about capitalizing on our strengths in clean tech, life sciences, digital health, gaming, and other innovative industries."

"I am delighted that Governor Patrick is leading a trade mission to Canada, where he and the members of the Massachusetts delegation will see first-hand some of the innovative research and technology development that is happening across the border in the areas of life sciences, clean tech, IT and beyond,” said Canadian Consul General to New England Pat Binns. “Canada and Massachusetts not only share an important relationship based on longstanding commercial, cultural and academic ties, but also a belief in education and innovation as essential catalysts for economic growth. This mission will help consolidate valuable relationships between companies and agencies on both sides of the border that will no doubt result in business and economic growth in both jurisdictions.”

From October 8-11th, the Massachusetts-Canada Innovation Partnership Mission will include stops in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. During the mission, Governor Patrick will participate in several business roundtables and meet with top business leaders in the innovation economy sectors to foster opportunities for collaboration between Massachusetts and Canadian businesses. Governor Patrick will also deliver the keynote address at the Canada Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) conference to promote the Commonwealth’s growing clean energy sector as a market open for business. In Toronto, the Governor will participate in a tourism industry event sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism; and in Montreal, the Governor will address a group of top Canadian business and academic leaders at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations to discuss opportunities for mutual partnership and growth in key sectors between Massachusetts and Canada. The Governor will also meet with the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, while in country.

The Massachusetts-Canada Connection:

Canada is the Commonwealth’s largest export partner. Last year, Massachusetts exported approximately $3.5 billion in goods and services to Canada, and the two-way exchange was $11.1 billion in 2012.  Through July 2013, the Commonwealth’s exports to Canada have increased by more than 5 percent over the same period last year. The Commonwealth’s top exports to Canada include industrial machinery, medical devices, and aerospace components, in addition to fish & shellfish.

Approximately 20,000 Massachusetts residents work for Canadian-owned companies and over 160,000 jobs in the Commonwealth are dependent on trade with Canada.  The Institute of International Education reported that in 2012 over 2200 Canadian students attended Massachusetts colleges and universities – representing the 4th largest contingent of international students in the Commonwealth.

“We are thrilled to welcome Governor Patrick back to Québec,” said Jean Saintonge of the Quebec Government Office in Boston. “With a yearly bilateral trade of over $2 billion, Quebec and Massachusetts are strong partners with many complementaries. The Québec Government is looking forward to fostering further collaborations with Massachusetts institutions and enterprises in the clean technologies, ICT and life sciences sectors.”

Like Massachusetts, Canada has focused heavily on growing sectors of its innovation economy in order to increase its global competitiveness, making the potential for collaboration in industries like clean tech, life sciences and digital gaming strong. In April 2013, the Canadian Trade Commission also opened a Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) in the Cambridge Innovation Center for small to medium-sized Canadian life science, digital technology, and clean tech companies over a three month period.

In Toronto alone, there are 1,700 clean tech companies with 36,000 employees and an industry capitalization of $50 billion, making that region ripe for expansion and partnership.

“Canada is a global leader of clean energy and clean water technology adoption making them a natural trading partner for Massachusetts’ 5,500 clean energy companies,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Alicia Barton. “We’re looking forward to exploring ways to forge partnerships with our Canadian partners that create expanded marketplaces for our clean energy sector.”

The life sciences sector is strong and growing stronger in Canada. Life sciences companies account for roughly $82 billion in economic activity – more than 7 percent of Canada’s GDP – and employ more than 400,000 nationally.  The Canadian federal government recently announced that it will bolster the biotech industry with $385 million to support the creation of a new, large-scale venture capital fund.  Additionally, the Industrial Research Program will be doubled to $106 million annually.  At the BIO2013 Convention in Chicago, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) partnered with the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (QCDM) to launch the International Collaborative Industry Program (ICIP). In this inaugural round of ICIP, Massachusetts companies have an opportunity to win grants of $100,000 (minimum) to $500,000 (maximum) which will be award to the best life science projects.

“Canada's provinces are home to several highly regarded life sciences clusters,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, PhD., President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.  “This trade mission will deepen the collaborative industry R&D partnership that the Life Sciences Center announced with Quebec Province at BIO 2013. It also will promote collaboration around the great work in neuroscience that is underway in both Canada and Massachusetts. We hope to leverage the new Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium as a focal point for collaboration with the neuroscience communities in both Montreal and Toronto.  The recent announcement that Canada-based Baylis Medical has opened an office in Burlington is evidence of the opportunity to use this trade mission to expand the relationship between the life sciences sectors in Massachusetts and Canada.”

Canada also represents an important market for Massachusetts’ digital and information technology sectors. According to the U.S. Commercial Service, the Information and Communication Technology sector in Canada includes nearly 32,000 companies that generate over $155 billion in annual revenues. Ontario’s tech sector is the leading force in the country’s tech sector, as it employs 45 percent of all such workers in Canada.  As a subset of the overall technology sector, digital gaming is a shared strength between Massachusetts and Canada, particularly within the province of Québec, which ranks third in the world for video game development trailing only California and Japan.  Québec has enjoyed competitive strength in the gaming industry since the 1980s. Massachusetts can capitalize on these strengths to further grow the Commonwealth’s own gaming cluster, while forming lasting partnership with these technology counterparts in Quebec.

“Canada has strengths in complementary technology sectors that are important for the Commonwealth’s innovation economy, including digital gaming, Health IT, and Big Data,” said Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “For Canada’s tech sector, Massachusetts can deliver collaborations within our areas of strength: world-class colleges and universities; innovative technology entrepreneurs; and our thriving tech startup culture.” 

Previous Innovation Missions Results in Business Expansion:

In March 2011, Governor Patrick led a coalition of the Commonwealth’s leaders on a mission to Israel and the United Kingdom. Following the mission, UK-based companies Cambridge Consultants, Sagentia and TotalMobile announced plans to expand and add jobs in Massachusetts. Israeli biotech firm EarlySense also announced it is adding jobs and establishing its U.S. headquarters in Waltham.

In December of 2011, Governor Patrick led a trade mission to Brazil and Chile focused on creating jobs in the life sciences, IT, clean energy and education sectors and solidifying the already strong Massachusetts-Brazil connection. During the trade mission to Chile and Brazil, Governor Patrick signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera that expands collaboration between Massachusetts and Chile in the areas of clean energy, biotechnology and education; participated in EMC’s groundbreaking of a new Big Data facility at Federal University in Rio de Janeiro; announced an agreement between Massachusetts-based Akamai and Sky Brasil, a Brazilian television subscription company, to bring online video rental services to the country; and announced an academic exchanges program between faculty and students from Brazilian and American Universities, including the University of Massachusetts system.

In February 2013, Governor Patrick led a trade mission to Colombia to promote job creation and expand economic opportunity and partnerships with Latin America. As part of that mission, Governor Patrick and President of the Republic of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize collaboration between Massachusetts and Colombia in the areas of science, technology and innovation, including in the life sciences, digital technology and clean energy industries. Last year, the United States signed a free trade agreement with Colombia, opening up an estimated $1.1 billion market for U.S. exports.

Official Delegation:

  • Governor Deval Patrick
  • Secretary Greg Bialecki, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Secretary Rick Sullivan, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Richard Elam, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment
  • Susan Windham-Bannister, PH.D., President & CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
  • Pamela Goldberg, CEO, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
  • Alicia Barton, CEO and Executive Director, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center