Governor visits UK to promote tourism, manufacturing partnerships

WORCESTERSHIRE, England – Gov. Rick Snyder arrived Thursday night in Worcestershire, England in preparation for Saturday’s speech to highlight Michigan as a travel destination. Snyder will spend the weekend in the United Kingdom, including as a special guest at the British Motor Museum’s exhibit that documents the life of Henry Ford and Ford Motor Co. vehicles.

On Thursday, Snyder signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Michigan and Minister Barbara Eibinger-Miedl of the Austrian state of Styria. The document formalizes cooperation in the automotive sector among Michigan, Styria and leading automotive suppliers and research and technical institutions. He also was joined at the headquarters of AVL by representatives of the AC Styria Cluster, which facilitates the advancement of auto mobility in Styria. AVL is an independent company involved with the development, simulation and testing technology of vehicle powertrains.

“This agreement establishes a formal relationship to share best practices and knowledge transfer between Michigan and Styria in the development and deployment of intelligent vehicle transportation,” Snyder said. “The similarities between the two states in terms of auto advancement are striking, and through cooperation we will continue making great strides.”

Last week, Snyder toured the Millbrook Proving Grounds in Bedford and met with executives of the Millbrook Group to discuss investment prospects in Michigan mobility assets. Millbrook Group is part of the test and measurement business segment of Spectris plc, a provider of vehicle test, validation, and engineering services. Earlier this month, Spectris announced the acquisition of Revolutionary Engineering in Livonia. The Millbrook Proving Grounds were originally designed after the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan.

The next stop on Snyder’s tour included Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, an independent research and technology organization with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry. Snyder met with company executives to promote cooperation between Michigan and the United Kingdom’s advanced manufacturing sectors. The delegation then met with the Warwick Manufacturing Group, an academic department of the University of Warwick, which provides research, education, and knowledge transfer in engineering, manufacturing, and technology.

“Michigan leads the world in the development and integration of intelligent connected vehicles, and face-to-face meetings with government leaders and large employers help us strengthen these relationships to collaborate on future technologies,” Snyder said.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the trade mission were focused on mobility and other advanced auto manufacturing partnerships. The focus for the weekend shifts to promoting Michigan as a top tourism destination for European travelers to the U.S.

Before heading to Germany next week, Snyder will meet with the British Parliament to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the automotive manufacturing and technology sectors.

Other missions led by Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley over the past seven years include trips to France, Japan, South Korea, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, Columbia, India, Switzerland, Italy, and Ireland. The missions have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in Michigan by foreign companies adding thousands of jobs to Michigan’s workforce.

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