The "international" part is a partnership with Sweden to exchange ideas and technology related to renewable energy and efficiency. IRETI will be a nonprofit academic entity and a for-profit venture responsible for the exchange of technology and ideas between the states and Sweden. Minnesota State University-Mankato will host the nonprofit part in collaboration with the University of New York and the University of Georgia, and the details are still being worked out on the for-profit end. Mankato has a history researching clean energy technologies like biofuels and efficiency.
Sweden - besides sending a lot of emigrants to Minnesota armed with dala horses and lingonberries - is on the cutting edge of cleantech. Right now, renewable energy supplies 26 percent of its energy. Michael M. Wood, the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, explained the significance of the partnership:
This is an excellent example of the kind of cooperation we need if we are going to reconcile the demands of the world economy with the realities of climate change.