Hyderabad: Telangana and California have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for joint innovation, exchange and cooperation in alternative energy, environmental technology, health, agriculture and other technology-based industry sectors, business innovation, research and development. The agreement with the office of California governor was signed during the ongoing visit to the US by a delegation headed by Telangana Information Technology and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao. The MOU, signed by Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz) Director Panorea Avdis and the Secretary to the Government of Telangana, Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C) Department Jayesh Ranjan, connects the respective innovation programs and helps foster economic cooperation and economic development. It will facilitate joint industrial research and development through their respective innovation ecosystems and enhance business relationships and educational opportunities in areas such as renewable energy, cleantech, smart cities, water conservation, biotech and agriculture technology, said a statement released here on Saturday. Through this agreement, the companies that participate in the Telangana T-Hub will have access to resources and contacts within the GO-Biz Innovation Hub (I-Hubs) network which stretches from Redding to San Diego and includes 15 distinct I-Hubs making it the largest state sponsored innovation network in the US. Likewise, this agreement opens opportunities for California companies to connect with the partners and companies within T-Hub network. "This MoU will open new avenues for exchange of innovative ideas between start-ups in Telangana and Silicon Valley. I am confident that startups in both geographies would benefit immensely from this MoU," said the minister. "India and California have strong economic ties that make our respective regions natural partners," said Avdis. "The agreement with the Telangana government provides a framework for collaboration that will help innovative Indian companies invest in California and help innovative companies in our state access the Indian market," she added.