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Whitmer partners with Finland on clean technology growth and development

Posted at 12:10 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 12:10:16-05

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs Mike Lintila signed a Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday.

The goal of the memorandum is 'to increase collaboration and innovation between Michigan and Finland related to clean technology industries, as well as autonomous energy storage and battery technologies," according to the governor's office.

“Michigan is excited to work alongside Finland to identify sustainable growth opportunities in the automotive, maritime and sustainable forest bio-economy industries, mitigate climate change and collaborate on opportunities to make mobility cleaner and safer,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “This partnership continues to build Michigan’s longstanding, shared heritage with Finland and positions us to work together to create opportunities for safe, equitable and sustainable transportation options.”

The memorandum signed Wednesday "acknowledges a global approach to sharing research and knowledge to spur automotive advancements, especially within the electric vehicle sector," according to the governor's office.

Areas for possible cooperation as outlined in the memorandum include:
• Sharing information and experiences on policies and regulations;
• Sharing and developing best practices on creating market opportunities and demand for clean technologies;
• Facilitating the development of direct contacts and partnerships between relevant public and private sector actors, linking the innovation and business ecosystems of Finland and Michigan;
• Encouraging and promoting dialogue, networking and cooperation between companies and research organizations through visits, workshops, meetings and other activities;
• Encouraging the participation of researchers and company representatives in partnerships and joint projects in the framework of relevant national, regional, and global programs and experiment platforms.

“Both Finland and Michigan want to take the lead in the transformation towards green economy,” said Minister Lintilä. “Finland and Michigan have a lot to benefit from sharing knowledge and creating business opportunities in the fields of clean technologies, smart mobility, and the battery industry, as well as sustainable bioeconomy. It is important to Finland to have concrete collaboration at all levels with the United States, including with states.”

While in Michigan, Minister Lintila and the Finnish Delegation are also expected to meet with leaders from General Motors and Ford and tour various mobility facilities, according to Whitmer's office.

Minister Lintila is traveling to the U.S. to strengthen cooperation in the research and development of smart and autonomous vehicles, energy storage and battery technology, according to Whitmer's office.

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