Twins collaborate on economic developmentThursday, October 25, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI - The Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance, in partnership with the sister cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., are hosting a Conference on Bi-National Regional Collaboration yesterday and today, with events taking place on both sides of the border.
“Bi-national regional cooperation and collaboration are becoming more and important to successful economic development,” stated Kim Stoker executive director of UPEDA. “Our conference will highlight economic areas that have high potential for enhanced bi-national collaboration and future initiatives.”
Keynote speakers Roy B. Norton, the Consul General of Canada at Detroit, and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley kicked off the program yesterday.
The welcome for the day was given by Jeff Holt, the chair of the Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan) Economic Development Corp.
After that, a panel of experts and business leaders discussed Alternative Energy. Panelists included representatives of N-Sci Technologies, Kinross Cellulosic Ethanol, and Cloverland Electrical Cooperative.
Phil Becker, executive director of the International Bridge Authority, will deliver the keynote for the second day.
Expert panels on Multi-Modal Transportation and Bi-national Collaboration in Higher Education to Support Regional Economic Development will contribute to greater understanding of potential opportunities.
A bi-national business roundtable with Heliene Photovoltaic Modules, Ellsin Environmental, Aggressive Manufacturing Innovations and Hoover Precision Products will discuss exporting experiences, collaborative relationships they have developed to penetrate foreign markets, and the power of problem solving relationships.
The panel will also discuss the roles of various entities play in the exporting process – including universities, businesses, economic development organizations, and finally where they anticipate exporting opportunities over a two year trajectory.
Conference sponsors, in addition to the hosting organizations, include the Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) Economic Development Corp., U.S. Economic Development Administration, Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission, Lake Superior State University, and the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development, MSU Canadian Studies Center, MSU Institute of Public Policy and Social Research, and the Great Lakes International Trade and Transportation Hub (GLITTH).