A new, global partnership wants to help start-up businesses thrive in Erie and across the globe in Ireland.

The Erie Innovation District signed an agreement and announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Waterford Institute of Technology during a news conference at Erie City Hall Thursday morning.

The Institute is located in Waterford, Ireland, and the same county as Erie's sister city Dungarven.

The partnership means Erie Innovation District will share business innovations and startup growth.

"All this will provide our innovation community a chance to learn from one of our best university in Ireland," said Karl Sanchack, CEO of Erie Innovation District. "It gives that same university an opportunity to learn from and see what we've built here in Erie."

The City of Waterford, Ireland's Mayor John Press and the Irish Ambassador to the United States joined in on the historic signing via Internet.