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The brother of US president George Bush was in the country last week on a trade mission with Enterprise Florida, the main economic development organisation for the state, which is keen to style itself as the US' "Internet Coast".
As part of the trade mission, Cardiff University and the University of Miami's College of Engineering signed an agreement to work on joint research projects and offer student exchanges in the fields of IT and engineering.
Bush heralded the agreement as evidence of the growing technology links between the UK and Florida. "This will only enhance the great relationship that we have between Florida and the UK. The wonderful thing about the IT world is that it is global and boundaryless," he said.
Academics from both universities expect the agreement to lead to the creation of new IT patents. John King, pro vice-chancellor of Cardiff University, explained, "It is increasingly important for universities in the 21st century to get involved in intellectual property spin-outs." The universities are also hoping to extend the agreement from IT and engineering to encompass biomedical and marine science, he added.
Bush also used his UK visit to officially open the new northern European headquarters of software and services specialist Citrix at Chalfont Park in Buckinghamshire. The company, which has its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, is one of the main partners in the Enterprise Florida organisation.