The Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has used a trip to London to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Government “to strengthen bilateral cooperation across their respective automotive and technology sectors in order to promote and foster sustainable growth and support innovation.”
The MoU, also signed by the Business and Industry Minister Richard Harrington, recognises that research, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation are fundamental to economic growth and prosperity and points out that both the UK and Michigan are lobal leaders in the collaborative research, development, demonstration, and innovation of future transport technologies.
The document also identifies that international collaboration is mutually beneficial to their researchers and businesses and that to succeed in the global innovation economy, there is a need to strengthen their respective abilities to accelerate the commercialisation of emerging technologies and the growth of domestic firms.
The UK and Michigan therefore have agreed a number of objectives including sharing of scientific, technological, regulatory and policy data and experiences (when appropriate), co-hosting bilateral and multilateral meetings, workshops and conferences, sharing best practices in skilled trades and workforce development programmes, developing new programmes to address emerging technology needs and creating a joint taskforce to provide advice on strengthening the UK and Michigan transport technology clusters and supporting the enterprises that form this cluster.
The agreement also allows the enhancement of the interconnected automotive supply chain, promoting the demonstration and deployment of innovation.
Among those involved in the co-operation to support connected, automated and autonomous vehicle technologies are the British Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Meridian Mobility Technology, Innovate UK and the Transport Systems Catapult alongside the American Centre of Mobility and Mcity in Michigan.
Speaking exclusively to SMART Highways, Governor Snyder said, “I am excited about the MoU with the UK Government because it is how well we can work together. This is a challenging field because it is about autonomous and connected vehicles and about mobility. The way I look at it is how can we work together with parties around the world because we have different perspectives, different resources, different experiences, different test beds. Let’s put all this information together and it’ll allow the technology to be adopted faster, better and safer by doing it together rather than apart.”
You can see Governor Snyder’s commenting here:
Governor Rick Snyder will be the subject of the Big Interview in the next issue of SMART Highways which will be published ahead of the ITS America annual meeting and expo which takes place in Detroit in June.
Picture: Governor Rick Snyder talking to SMART Highways editor Paul Hutton in London.