“Opening up new channels” for Basque companies and universities in the U.S.A., the purpose of the Lehendakari’s presence in Nevada and California
On the first day of his official visit, the Lehendakari has held a meeting with the Basque press accompanying him on this trip and has presided over a dinner in the Center for Basque Studies, organized in his honor.
"Renewing the bonds between the U.S.A. and the Basque Country" and "opening up new channels" to enable Basque companies to set up in the U.S.A. are the main objectives that have dominated the commencement of the first official visit of the Lehendakari, Patxi López, to North America. On the first day of his visit, the Lehendakari met with the Basque press accompanying him on this trip in Reno and has presided over a dinner organized by the Center for Basque Studies in his honor. The Lehendakari is visiting the U.S.A. having accepted the invitation of the founder of the Center for Basque Studies, Bill Douglas, to participate in the Jaialdi, which, every five years, brings thousands of Basques to the City of Boise.
Over the course of the next 5 days, the Lehendakari, Patxi López, will visit the universities of Nevada, Stanford, Berkeley and Boise and some of the most important companies in California, such as Google, Slac and Cars Facility. These two spheres, the university and the company, are the principal areas for action marked by the delegation of the Basque Government, which commences its visit today, within the program of the first official visit of the Lehendakari, Patxi López, to the U.S.A. The Lehendakari's extremely busy agenda kicked off this evening in Reno with an informal meeting with the Basque press accompanying him in order to provide coverage of the visit. During his first public intervention in North America, the Lehendakari has drawn attention to the Basque Executive's desire to "renew the bonds between the U.S.A. and the Basque Country", particularly with the significant Basque collective residing in the State of Nevada, a desire that will be made manifest in the form of various collaboration agreements with the Center for Basque Studies for the dissemination of Basque culture and studies. "We believe that support for Basque groups is of great importance, that is, all individuals who claim and preserve Basque culture outside the Basque Country," explained the Lehendakari.
However, the Lehendakari's trip to the U.S. also serves to "open new channels" for Basque companies wishing to set up on North American soil. Currently, approximately 60 Basque companies have established themselves in the U.S.A., but the Basque Government will attempt to "create new bridges" for companies and universities that will enable additional companies to set up in this country. "To this end, 4 North American universities and 3 Basque universities will form the focal point for action" on this trip, the Lehendakari informed the Basque journalists.
Proof of this is provided in the form of the presence of the Rector of the University of the Basque Country, Iñaki Goirizelaia, as a member of the official Basque delegation accompanying the Lehendakari. Furthermore, the Lehendakari is also joined on this trip by the Basque Minister for Culture, Blanca Urgell, the General Secretary for Overseas Action, Guillermo Echenique, José Antonio Maiz, an expert within the Advisory Board of the Basque Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation and the director of the Etxepare Institute, Aizpea Goenaga.
Companies and Universities
Thus, on Monday, the Basque Government will ratify the collaboration agreement with the University of Nevada and the Center for Basque Studies focusing on the dissemination of Basque culture and the Basque reality.
On Tuesday, in the University of Berkeley, a collaboration agreement will be signed between Bustamante Laboratorios and Okestra (The Basque Institute for Competitiveness) with the hope of "stimulating joint research projects". On Friday, a new agreement will be signed with the University of Boise to maintain and consolidate its Basque Studies Syllabus.
During his stay in California, the Lehendakari will visit the companies Google, SLAC and the Cars Facility Center and will attend a business event in the Basque Center of San Francisco "to strengthen these new channels for the entry of Basque companies into the U.S.A."