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MEDC's NextEnergy Initiative Signs Cooperative Agreement with Stuttgart Economic Development Corporation

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Jennifer Kopp-Owens
(517) 335-4590

Corporations Agree to Work Together to Further Alternative Energy Technolog

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) signed a cooperative agreement today with Germany’s Stuttgart Regional Economic Development Corporation solidifying a partnership to help accelerate the development of alternative energy technologies.

This new partnership will primarily focus on joint efforts to develop alternative energy education programs.The programs developed by each corporation will likely be available through the Web.

“The signing of this agreement demonstrates NextEnergy’s international scope and influence,” said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“By working together with partners like the Stuttgart EDC, we can launch a global effort to help make the commercialization of alternative energy products a reality.”

As part of the agreement, the corporations will develop online educational and training programs that will allow students, organizations and businesses leaders from both regions to participate.

The groups also will create a Web-based marketplace exchange service.The exchange would include a list of companies within each of their respective domains that have an interest in establishing joint ventures, direct sales, and/or networking partnerships in alternative energy.

Moreover, the groups will explore the feasibility of jointly hosting an annual conference inviting business, industry, education, and/or government leaders from their respective domains to discuss alternative energy issues facing both regions.

“Michigan, with the automobile metropolis of Detroit, the high proportion of industry-related manufacturers in the state and its numerous research and higher education institutions, has a comparable economic structure to that of the Stuttgart Region,” said Dr. Walter Rogg, CEO, Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation.

“Through this cooperation, both partners expect to be able to strengthen their overall market positions and to improve the time to market required for new developments using fuel cell technology.We anticipate that our universities and research institutions will cooperate in the future in the education of skilled employees and by encouraging the exchange of researchers in industry-related fields.”

This is the second international agreement the MEDC, on behalf of the NextEnergy initiative, has inked.In September the corporation established a similar cooperative agreement with the North of England Inward Investment Agency in the United Kingdom.

The NextEnergy initiative, developed by the MEDC, is a comprehensive set of actions and incentives designed to position Michigan as the world’s leading center for alternative energy technology, research and development, education and manufacturing.Technologies for both mobile and stationary applications using renewable and distributed energy solutions will be supported.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.