The Azores president seeks to strengthen exchanges with American universities and business investment

FALL RIVER – The President of the Azores Regional Government had a common message for all government officials and elected officials as well as education, business and community leaders he met on his six-day trip in Massachusetts and Rhode Island: the Azores can be a key point of reference in several areas, including biodiversity, nature conservation and renewable energy, among others.

And to further strengthen these areas, he wants to see more exchanges of researchers, professors and students between the University of the Azores and American universities and attract more American business investment.

“We want to counter the idea that the Azorean territory is small and far from everything. If we see the territory beyond the land component and think of the maritime space, look at the dimension of the sea and space, combined with research and new technologies, we can be a reference for the world” , President José Manuel Bolieiro said of 50 local elected officials and community leaders at a breakfast in his honor held last Sunday at the TA restaurant in Fall River.

The event was sponsored by the Luso-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS), Rádio Voz do Emigrante and the New England Great Holy Spirit Feast Committee. In attendance were Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan, East Providence Mayor Roberto da Silva, a handful of state legislators, several representatives from the UMass system and Bristol Community College, as well as numerous entrepreneurs and cultural leaders and organizational.

Bolieiro said the same message was delivered at a similar event in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in private meetings with Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee, Portuguese-American lawmakers and officials from UMass Dartmouth and UMass Lowell.

“I believe in the future of the Azores with this association – sea, science, new technologies, sustainable development, energy transition,” Bolieiro said. “I believe we can be a good partner for the United States, which cares about future generations.”

The Azorean president also believes that the mid-Atlantic archipelago can be a global focal point when it comes to “blue or green economies, space or meteorology”.

Bolieiro pointed out that his firm is working on several initiatives with the aim of strengthening the Azores’ ability to attract intellectual knowledge, skills and know-how “through scientific and technological development and innovation, involving students and professors. “, and to encourage business investment.

“So that you can find in the Azores a land of business and investment opportunities,” he said.

Azores Regional Government President José Manuel Bolieiro, left, and Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan shake hands during a breakfast in Bolieiro's honor at the TA restaurant in Fall River, on August 28, 2022.

Bolieiro said O Journal as TERINOV (Terceira Island Science and Technology Park) – which is at the forefront of technological entrepreneurship in the Azores and whose agribusiness is one of its main areas – and the Air Center (Atlantic International Research Centre) attract great scientists and technological intellect to the Azores, but there is potential for bilateral collaboration on many other projects, especially those that are planet-friendly.

“These relationships with American universities and the exchange of information in the areas of research, science and technology are very important for different levels of precision economics,” he said. “The extractive economy is killing the planet and our human survival. We must begin to have an economy of use of resources with a capacity for renewal… like renewable energies.

Bolieiro said he had the chance to talk about renewable energy with US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry and Massachusetts Senator Marc Pacheco, founding chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.

“We talked about the good example of the Azores, especially in the application of geothermal energy,” Bolieiro said. “Wind power linked to off-shore can be a new potential that must be exploited and evaluated, in the same way as hydrogen.”

He said the Azores also hoped to attract more remote workers, known as digital nomads. With a smile, Bolieiro said it was hard not to be happy in the Azores because of its way of life and its landscape.

“We are investing heavily in WI-FI coverage, with free distribution to all islands, to reduce white spots,” he said.

The President of the Regional Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, presents a set of books on the culture and history of the Azores to the President of the Luso-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS), Katherine Soares.

A Massachusetts delegation of government, academic and business leaders is set to travel to the Azores early next year at the invitation of the regional government to learn more about what the archipelago has to offer and explore opportunities for mutual interest.

“We want to capture their interest and curiosity for the Azores as a good place in terms of well-being, but also investment in order to create wealth and take advantage of these new economies”, he explained.

One of the main objectives of this mission will be “to generate and improve direct dialogue between entrepreneurs, universities and researchers”, Bolieiro said. “What cannot happen is that everything depends on the government. Governments take the first step. They create the platform for meetings and contacts, but afterwards we want to maintain the normality of dialogue and exchanges between institutions, between entrepreneurs and between universities.

Acknowledging that “European bureaucracy and the tax burden” can sometimes deter U.S. investment, Bolieiro pledged to “work with honesty and transparency” to help clarify issues related to bureaucracy and tax burden for potential investors. .

“The government of the Azores has already reduced the tax burden to the maximum,” he said. “But the field of competence of autonomy is very limited. We will do everything to help elucidate investors.

He said an office was being developed to gather all necessary information for foreign investors.

“Believe me, there is a lot of future in the Azores,” he said.

Bolieiro traveled to this area to be guest of honor at New England’s Great Holy Ghost Festival in Fall River.

“I am here as if I was at home, seeing this community live our traditions with the greatest intensity,” he said.

After breakfast, Mayor Coogan said O Journal that these bilateral dialogue opportunities can be “super important”.

“That’s how you build ties with trade, tourism, economic development…all things that keep countries linked. And obviously we have a very strong relationship with the Azores and that can only lead to better things down the road.

Lurdes C. da Silva can be contacted at [email protected] To read more stories about the Portuguese-speaking community in English and Portuguese, please visit ojornal.com.

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