Governor Deval Patrick today joined Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton for a meeting with Québec -based clean energy companies to discuss opportunities for clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship between Québec and Massachusetts.
"In Massachusetts we invest in clean energy because we are choosing to shape our own future," said Governor Patrick. "Collaborating with Canada will help us develop the partnerships in the innovation industries, like the cleantech sector, where we already have an advantage."
"Working together with Canadian cleantech businesses on our global energy challenges, we can achieve economies of scale that will benefit us all," said Secretary Sullivan.
In September, Governor Patrick announced that clean energy jobs in Massachusetts grew by 11.8 percent between June 2012 and June 2013, the second year of double digit growth. Over the past two years, clean energy jobs have grown by 24.4 percent with 5,557 clean energy companies now employing 79,994 workers across the Commonwealth. The job growth over the past year is eight times faster than the overall three percent growth rate among all industries combined in the Commonwealth over the same period, and all four geographic regions of the state saw an increase in clean energy employment over the past 12 months.
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.
"Partnering with Canadian clean energy companies to expand their operations in Massachusetts will allow continuing growth of the already-booming clean energy sector in the Commonwealth that employs 80,000 workers at 5,500 companies," said CEO Barton.
The event was hosted by Écotech Québec, which works to position Québec as a center of excellence for cleantech in North America. It participates in the "greening" of the Québec economy through sustainable development and works to support entrepreneurs in accelerating the design, development, adoption, commercialization and export of clean technologies.
"Québec entrepreneurs have a great interest in discovering business opportunities in Massachusetts, especially in the energy sector where Québec has developed several innovations," said Denis Leclerc, CEO of Écotech Québec, representing the Québec Cleantech Cluster.
"The mission of Governor Deval Patrick has been a great opportunity to strengthen the economic relationship between Québec and Massachusetts," said Jean Saintonge, Québec Delegate in Boston. "This roundtable jointly organized by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Écotech Québec is a good example of how to initiate business partnerships and create jobs on both side of the border in the clean economy sector."
From October 8-11, Governor Patrick is leading a delegation of the Commonwealth's government leaders on the 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 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.