Oakland County Economic Developers Busy as Representatives Hit France, Alaska and Both Coasts in Same Week

Oakland County economic developers are finishing a busy week as they return from multiple destinations and thousands of travel miles selling the benefits of Medical Main Street and locating in the county.

Teams return from both the East and West Coasts Thursday after spending the week in Washington D.C. and San Diego. The Washington team was promoting Medical Main Street – the county’s life science and health care initiative – at the Healthcare Supply Chain Expo. The San Diego team is promoting Medical Main Street at AdvaMed Technology Conference. AdvaMed represents 80 percent of the medical technology firms in the United States. The team had also scheduled meetings with various medical and life science companies.

In addition, Deputy County Executive Matthew Gibb is in Bordeaux, France at the 2015 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems. County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has made it a priority to have the county deploy the world’s first county-wide connected car vehicle system. Economic development Director Irene Spanos returns Thursday after spending the week in Anchorage attending the International Economic Development Council annual meeting.

“These trips are vital to establishing and maintaining contacts that help drive the continued growth of our economy,” Patterson said. “Oakland County has a gained a well-earned reputation as one of the top destinations for direct foreign investment. We have 1,000 international firms from 39 countries here and that’s no accident.”

Medical Main Street represents a portion of the county’s 4,700 health care, medical device and life science businesses.

In 2014, Oakland County had direct foreign investment of more than $171 million. Through the first six months of 2015, total business investment in the county had surpassed $756.8 million – nearly $100 million more than in all of 2014. “Our economy is on fire,” Patterson said at the time.

The domestic and international travel helps support Patterson’s Emerging Sectors® business development strategy, which is helping diversify the county’s economy. Since inception in 2004, the strategy counts more than 350 successes – companies that either expanded here when they were considering leaving the state or were new to the county – which resulted in more than $3.2 billion of investment while creating more than 57,000 jobs.

Patterson is honoring those companies on Tuesday during a celebration in a hangar at Pentastar Aviation at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford. More than 600 guests are expected.

A team representing both Medical Main Street and Tech248 – which is connecting the county’s 2,000 tech companies – was in Silicon Valley in September to woo various life science and information technology companies and also to attend the Integrate 2015 Conference & Expo in Santa Clara, Calif. The event bills itself as the “world’s largest technology conference, expo, and social network that is 100 percent focused on integrating technologies together.”

Gibb recently returned from Germany where he attended the Frankfurt Auto Show and Alan Weber, a senior business development representative, led a 12-day trade mission to Japan. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder connected with the Oakland County teams in Germany and Japan.

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