WINDSOR, ONT. -- A new “cross-border mobility partnership” has been formed to help fuel conversation and collaboration on addressing the underrepresentation of women in technology.

The U.S. Consulate General in Toronto and the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC) formed the partnership which is supported by the U.S. Mission to Canada’s Virtual Speaker Series program.

“A cross-border mobility partnership between the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto and WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation will boost women’s participation in technology and showcase the importance of innovation. It is a testament to our countries’ ability to work together towards a technologically advanced and integrated future despite the challenges of the current pandemic,” said acting U.S. Consul General Sonya Tsiros.

“This grant will have long-term positive impact by tackling cross-border mobility issues such as smart infrastructure, healthcare, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship.”

On Friday through Sunday WE EDC along with the Consulate and Major League Hacking, will host a cross-border mobility hackathon. The 36-hour, online event will offer more than 400 students at the University of Windsor, St. Clair College and Wayne State University, among others, the chance to create “their greatest innovation.”

Areas of focus will include issues such as smart infrastructure, healthcare, cyber security, entrepreneurship and more.

Through the initiative, the Consulate will also support the first ever cross border Women in Mobility Speaker Series through Rise WindsorEssex which will kick-off at the hackathon.

“In this COVID-19 driven environment, opportunities for networking and creating linkages to foster innovation, particularly for students and women, are increasingly difficult to find. We are thrilled to be able to work with the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto on empowering these groups in our bi-national mobility cluster,” said Stephen MacKenzie, president and CEO WE EDC said.

With a focus on women in mobility, the annual RISE summit will welcome diverse female guests from Canada and the U.S. to hear from big names in the mobility sectors in both countries.

The event will be held in February 2021 to coincide with the region’s Tech Week.

“Participants of both initiatives will have the opportunity to grow their networks, find mentors, and make meaningful connections as we work together to change the face of automobility and encourage our community to make international industry inroads in high-demand fields, thanks to support from the Consulate,” MacKenzie said.