Gov. Pat Quinn lands in Israel on Tuesday for what his staff calls an "education mission."
What does that mean for Illinois? Depends.
Beside meeting and greeting high-ranking Israeli officials, Quinn is geared up to garner some choice info to benefit his home state.
One of Quinn's first stops is at car company Better Place to view new battery technology for electric cars. While there, he plans to assess whether Illinois could benefit from manufacturing that kind of car or be able to use the company's new technology.
He'll also visit the largest Illinois company doing business in Israel: Motorola Solutions. In May, Quinn made a deal with nearby Motorola Mobility Inc. to keep its corporate headquarters in suburban Chicago thanks to a new state incentives deal.
Perhaps even more important, according to Aaron Cohen, communications vice president of Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, which funded the trip, is signing the formal academic cooperation between University of Illinois at Chicago and Ben Gurion University of the Negev. The agreement, being signed Thursday, increases joint efforts between the schools to study the field of public health.
"We'll be seeing more faculty exchanges, student exchanges and academic work done by both institutions together," Cohen said.
On Sunday, Quinn signs a memorandum of understanding to establish a "Sister Lakes" agreement for Lake Michigan and Lake Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee). According to Cohen, the agreement references concerns regarding water purification, invasive fish species and other issues.
"In today's globalized world, in-depth, first-hand experience and understanding of opportunities and issues, and the forging of relationships, all tip the balance between business as usual and opening doors to innovation and advancement," Cohen said.