AN economic partnership agreement has been signed between Cork and Quincy City in Massachusetts.
The aim of the agreement is to promote business, education and tourism links between both regions and to capitalise on the recently established transatlantic route operated by Norwegian Air direct from Cork to Boston/ Providence.
The first business and tourism delegation from Quincy is expected to travel to Cork in September 2018, bringing with it over 20 companies to explore potential business relationships.
Mayor Hurley is confident that the agreement will strengthen the trading relationships between Cork and Massachusetts: ‘Agreements such as this are vital in promoting Cork from both a tourism and business perspective, while offering the same for Quincy. I am confident that we can create great results for each other and it was an honour to sign the agreement on behalf of the people of Cork county.’
Another feature of the visit is a meeting with Boston-based MassChallenge, a world-renowned accelerator programme for start-ups. A first for Ireland, Bridge to MassChallenge Cork is Cork County Council’s ground-breaking start-up programme which will connect applicants to a global network and facilitate the creation of high-quality jobs focusing on ambitious, early stage entrepreneurs in the life sciences, medical devices and digital health sectors across Ireland.
Chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, spoke of the opportunities on offer with MassChallenge: ‘Our meeting will advance preparations in the programme to where 10 finalists will be selected and attend the week long Boston boot camp, providing a unique connection with a global support system while receiving significant international mentoring and networking opportunities.’Membership with MassBio has also been secured by the Council. MassBio is a not-for-profit organisation which represents over 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, disease foundations and other organisations involved in life sciences and healthcare.
Also visiting the US last week to help strengthen Irish ties with the American east coast was Goleen maritime lawyer Michael Kingston. Mr Kingston paid a visit to the Maine International Trade Center (MITC). Dana Eidsness of the Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO) welcomed Mr Kingston and promised to lend MENADO support to the Cork region.
Mr Kingston said there were many opportunities for both areas to come together and forge business relationships, especially given the success of the Norwegian Air routes from Cork. He told The Southern Star that he is also working to strengthen ties between the US east coast maritime authorities and the Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy.