Global Initiatives

The smart and connected digital transformation known as Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing business processes and having a powerful impact on how companies operate globally, creating added flexibility and greater international collaboration. Globalization is at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and our Global Initiatives ensure Michigan companies remain competitive in the global economy. 

Post-Covid Economic and Business Update Video Series

Join Automation Alley's Noel Nevshehir, Director of International Business Services and Global Strategic Partnerships, for a new video series focusing on the impact of COVID-19 globally. In each episode, Noel will sit down with economic development representatives from across the globe for an interview-style update on how their country has reacted to the pandemic and what lasting affects it will have on the economy. Watch the entire series in our knowledge center

Trade Missions

Automation Alley’s trade missions lead Michigan companies to international locales, introducing small to medium-size businesses to new high-growth markets and opportunities to expand and diversify their product, service and technology offerings. These missions are results-driven and have generated over $1 billion in export sales for local companies.

“There is simply no better way to approach, explore or expand in a foreign market than with the assistance of Automation Alley and the MEDC. Obtaining this level of foreign network contacts would be questionable if I had to do this on my own.”

- Ray Fernandez, Quality Metalcraft

Why join our trade missions?

  • Get results. 
    Automation Alley trade missions have generated over $1 billion in export sales for company participants, while creating thousands of local jobs (direct and indirect). 
  • Learn from the experts. 
    Attend business receptions and meet with government officials and business leaders who will share their firsthand insights about the opportunities and challenges of doing business overseas. 
  • Meet the right people.
    Our matchmaking meetings will place your company in front of potential buyers and end users of your products, services and technologies. Meet the key players you need to know to be successful in the global marketplace.
  • Save time and money.
    Automation Alley trade missions offer a significant savings to companies doing business abroad. And we will take care of the planning and details before, during and after the mission.

Interested in joining a trade mission? Contact us today.

“It was nice to have everything so perfectly choreographed that I could concentrate on networking and business opportunities, versus worrying about the ‘logistics’ of getting to and from meetings.”

- Richard Nagrocki, Corrigan

Participants on Automation Alley's 2014 Trade Mission to Mexico.

Puebla, Mexico

Participants on Automation Alley's 2014 Trade Mission to Dubai.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Participants on Automation Alley's 2015 Trade Mission to Colombia.

Bogota, Colombia

Trade Mission Sponsorship Opportunities

How better to get to know several companies than to travel with them and learn about global opportunities alongside them? Sponsorship opportunities provide access to both FDI and trade mission participants as well as pre-mission speaking opportunities. Learn more: click here.

To Sponsor, contact 800-457-5100 or

International Business Center 

Automation Alley’s International Business Center (IBC) provides 90 days of complimentary soft-landing space for foreign companies to use as a home base while exploring opportunities to do business in Michigan.

The 3,200-square-foot IBC includes: 

  • Meeting rooms with state-of-the-art communications technology
  • Private office space for meetings with partners and clients around the globe
  • Open office areas featuring laptop worktables and other business resources

With convenient access to Automation Alley’s International Business Services staff, your company will also receive:

  • Assistance with site selection to establish permanent operations in the region
  • Introductions to potential business partners, clients and employees

Why Michigan?

  1. We have a diverse and abundant workforce. 
    Michigan is a place where jobs and business opportunities are on the rise, and we are home to a diverse and highly skilled workforce. According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan has the highest concentration of engineers in the nation, 130,000-plus statewide. We also rank in the top 10 for our number of workers in the skilled trades with 250,000 statewide.
  2. We are a global innovation hub with a strong business network. 
    Michigan is a high-tech powerhouse and an advanced manufacturing leader with many global supply chain assets. Now that's a recipe for innovation! This unique combination of thinkers and makers is what sets us apart from places like Silicon Valley, and what will ultimately help drive Michigan forward during this time of great technological change. Navigating our business climate is made easier for foreign companies because of Michigan’s strong economic development network. For example, Automation Alley is one of the state’s designated SmartZones; technology business accelerators that provide distinct geographical locations to assist firms. 
  3. We have a low cost of living. 
    Businesses are choosing Michigan not only because of our business-friendly environment, but also our low cost of living that brings with it an unparalleled quality of life. 
  4. Our geographical location provides unparalleled access to market. 
    Michigan is centrally located in North America and is within 500 miles of nearly half the U.S. and Canadian population and commerce centers. International border crossings offer easy access to Canada, the state’s largest trading partner. According to the MEDC, $500 million in trade crosses between Michigan and Canada daily via the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest border crossing in North America. In addition, the Great Lakes are a large source of wind energy and contain 20% of the world’s total fresh water — the second-largest supply in the world.
  5. There’s so much to do and see! 
    Michigan’s natural beauty and unique attractions make it a desirable destination to live and work. With four seasons, thousands of lakes and the country’s longest freshwater coastline thanks to the Great Lakes, there are plenty of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition, Michigan is also home to four professional sports teams, has a rich and storied music and art scene and features many urban escapes with ample opportunities for dining, enjoying craft beer and wine tasting.

Global Economic Outlook 

Join international business experts as they discuss firsthand insights about the industries and regions around the world where growth opportunities are particularly strong. Speakers will examine projected trends in two-way trade and investment flows and identify industries that will either benefit or be challenged by globalization in the short, medium and long terms.

Watch Automation Alley's 2020 Global Economic Outlook live here!

Upcoming Trade Missions:

Automation Alley's Trade Mission to India
New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune
April 23-30

Trade Mission to South Korea & Japan
Hosted by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers
April 19-23, 2021


Stay in Touch

Subscribe to Automation Alley's emails and stay up to date on all things Industry 4.0!

Submit your online membership application and begin growing your business.