Orange County Government recently announced that the North-Central Florida proposal, comprised of the cities of Tallahassee/Leon County, Gainesville/Alachua, County, Orlando/Orange County, St. Augustine/St. Johns County and the Space Coast, has been selected to host the 8th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE), December 3-9, 2017.
The ACE program – hosted by the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, in coordination with the Government of Mexico – as Chair Pro Tempore of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network, or RIAC, 2016-2018, and the Organization of American States – brings together decision-makers from the Western Hemisphere and other nations to explore global and regional partnerships as well as economic development opportunities that will strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship.
“We are proud to be one of the hosts for the 8th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Event,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “Orange County is a perfect example of global connectivity and what better place to host this conference than in our community. Our diverse population enables local and international entrepreneurship to foster economic opportunities for our region.”
“We appreciate Orange County’s leadership and commitment to welcome 50 high-level decision-makers from the Americas and around the world by opening the doors of your communities to share your experience and competitiveness strengths,” said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dennis Alvord. “We strongly believe that when the right partners come together and increase their level of interaction great things happen for job creation, increased investment, and improved prosperity.”
Since 2014, ACE has been held in the United States, Argentina, Mexico and Canada, becoming a catalyst to strengthen hemispheric ties, building on ideas and models that work to promote economic and social development.
During the past year, the North-Central Florida region worked with the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce on its proposal before the federal government presented its application to a global committee of experts headed by the Organization of American States.
The six-day ACE tour will bring together high-level representatives from around the world to showcase advanced technology centers, innovation hubs, public-private partnerships and strategic investments. The itinerary will include sites that feature agriculture, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, tourism, magnetics and others clusters, as well as every major university in the North-Central Florida region, including both of Florida’s preeminent academic universities, Florida State University and the University of Florida.
Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Over the past six years, North-Central Florida has become a hub for economic and scientific innovation thanks to investments by Governor Rick Scott. We are excited to facilitate deeper connections between ACE program participants and Florida’s tech-based industries, and showcase why North-Central Florida is the ideal place to do business.”