• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Arkansas, Indiana and California form international agreements on tech innovation, climate change and manufacturing

June 16, 2022
By: Emily Chesser

Three states — Indiana, California and Arkansas — have recently participated in international diplomacy, creating strategic connections and developing agreements to address climate change and trade barriers with the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. These recent agreements may suggest a shift toward innovation-focused diplomacy at the state level with nations across the globe.

An Indiana and the United Kingdom agreement is marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which developed a framework to remove barriers to trade and investment. The MOU aims to allow businesses in the U.K. and Indiana to create jobs, export, invest, and expand. Both entities are specifically interested in promoting green trade and accelerating the development of clean technologies in their regions. The U.K. says it hopes to sign more MOUs this year, and Indiana serves as a strategic first choice with its strengths in advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and renewable energy.

The U.K. is not the only nation interested in signing MOUs with U.S. states. An MOU between Arkansas and Israel formed an agreement to encourage cooperation between businesses, research universities, and corporations in both regions. This partnership is intended to increase technical innovation, research, and development between two leaders in the innovation space.

In California, two agreements have been developed with New Zealand and Canada centered around addressing climate change. California and New Zealand recently signed an information-sharing pledge to address climate change by sharing best practices and new ideas, specifically hoping to discuss plans to manage the transition to electric vehicles to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. California’s agreement with Canada features a framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase conservation measures. This focus on addressing climate change is motivated, in part, by the increasing threat of wildfires in both regions.

While these recent instances of state-level international diplomacy feature agreements on a specific topic, longstanding border agreements like the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) address various relevant topics from economic development, energy, environmental issues, transportation infrastructure, and more. The AMC forms a comprehensive agreement for increasing collaboration between Mexico and Arizona.

(Story updated July 5, 2022.)

California, Indianainnovation, international, climate change, manufacturing