Governor Walker: Returning to Wisconsin following Israel trade mission

Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839
Note to media: High-resolution photos from Governor Walker’s trade mission can be downloaded here.

MADISON — Governor Scott Walker and state economic development officials are returning to Wisconsin Thursday after a successful trade mission to Israel that focused on developing new partnerships in the water technology sector, encouraging investment in Wisconsin and increasing exports.
Governor Walker and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary Mark R. Hogan headed a 16-member Wisconsin delegation in the weeklong mission to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

During the mission, the governor took part in networking events with companies with operations in Wisconsin or those considering expanding in the U.S. and met with key Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The trip also had a strong emphasis on promoting and strengthening the state’s water technology sector, and the Wisconsin delegation included leaders of The Water Council, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

“During this trip, we made significant inroads in spreading the word about Wisconsin’s strong water technology sector and how it could help business and governments in Israel,” Governor Walker said. “The mission also gave us a chance to showcase what makes Wisconsin a great place for Israeli companies to establish or expand operations.”

Highlights of the trade mission included:

The Water Council signed two agreements that will increase collaboration and develop new water technology partnerships between Wisconsin and Israel. The council and the Israel Innovation Authority agreed to develop a new research partnership in which Israeli and Wisconsin water technology companies will collaborate on developing new applications for MMSD and other Wisconsin water utilities. The council and the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev also signed an agreement that calls for collaboration on water-related research.

Governor Walker led an “Opportunity in Wisconsin” networking event with about a dozen executives of Israeli companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the U.S. The companies learned about opportunities to expand their businesses in Wisconsin and the benefits of investing in the state.

Governor Walker took part in a “Reverse Pitch for Innovation” networking event led by The Water Council, UWM and the MMSD that showcased how Wisconsin’s water technology resources could be of benefit to Israeli companies.

The governor met with leaders of Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem, to discuss potential collaboration and partnerships with Wisconsin entities.

The governor visited the Israeli operations of Astronautics Corporation of America, which is headquartered in Milwaukee.
In addition to the governor’s economic development activities, executives from five Wisconsin businesses who were part of the delegation took part in one-on-one meetings with potential business partners coordinated by WEDC’s authorized trade representative network.

This was Governor Walker’s second trade mission in the last two months, as he completed a completed a successful mission to South Korea and Japan in September. WEDC, which organizes the governor’s trade missions, is also hosting five upcoming trade ventures through mid-2018 to Mexico, Canada, China and Germany. Wisconsin companies interested learning more about those trips can visit inwisconsin.com/export/goglobal.

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