Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the Netherlands’ State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Mona Keijzer signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Amsterdam today to strengthen the innovation in their automotive sectors. Photo: Ministry of Economic Affairs


The Netherlands and Michigan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Amsterdam today to strengthen the innovation in their automotive sectors.

Mona Keijzer, State Secretary of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder agreed to share research and knowledge on automotive, enhance the interconnected supply chain, and deploy together more innovative technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles and the use of lightweight materials.

State Secretary Mona Keijzer: “The Netherlands is a world-class supplier of smart mobility and high-tech materials. This MoU gives involved Dutch companies and research institutes extra opportunities to share their innovations with the most important automotive state in the US. Our collaboration is not only about exchanging innovative technologies. This partnership also has great economic value for both Michigan and the Netherlands. Together we can improve the interconnection of our shared automotive supply chain.”

Governor Rick Snyder: “This agreement establishes a great partnership through which we will share research and knowledge between Michigan and the Netherlands in the development and deployment of intelligent vehicle transportation. The similarities between Michigan and the Netherlands in terms of auto advancement and manufacturing innovation are striking, and through cooperation we will continue making great strides. The technology that is enabling connected and autonomous vehicles and new mobility services is moving quickly, and it is essential we collaborate to harmonize global policy, regulations and standards to make transportation safe and more accessible for all.”

Strong economic and historic ties

The Netherlands and Michigan share strong historic and economic ties. 515,000 Americans of Dutch descent live in Michigan. The yearly export from Michigan to the Netherlands is worth more than $330 million. With this MoU, these strong ties will be further strengthened within the field of innovation. The MoU was signed at the Amsterdam headquarters of TomTom, and in the presence of  US Ambassador Peter Hoekstra.

Michigan is the most important automotive state in the United States with worldwide manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford present. The Netherlands, on the other hand, is a world-class supplier for the automotive sector with leading companies like VDL, NXP, TomTom, Technolution, and Prodrive.

Last autumn, Dutch automotive companies, research institutes, and government officials visited the US and Canada to explore opportunities for innovative collaboration. The signing of the MoU is one of the follow-ups of this innovation mission.