Florida Coalition Wins Competition for International Executives’ Visit

Florida Tech, Port Canaveral, KSC
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MELBOURNE, FLA. — Over 50 high-level representatives from around the world are expected to visit Florida Institute of Technology and other Brevard County and Florida sites after a coalition of north-central Florida cities, counties and agencies won a national competition by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to host the 8th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The international event, known as ACE Florida, will run Dec. 3-9. Participants will visit Orlando and Brevard County, as well as Osceola County, the Greater Gainesville region, Tallahassee-Leon County and St. Augustine.

They will see advanced technology centers, innovation hubs, public-private partnerships and strategic investments. The itinerary will include agricultural, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, tourism, and other clusters, as well as Florida State University and University of Florida in addition to Florida Tech.

ACE Florida brings together decision-makers from the Western Hemisphere and other nations to explore global and regional partnerships and economic development opportunities that will strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Florida Tech visit will include a campus tour, interactions with President Dwayne McCay and other senior leaders, and a visit to the university’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design, which is funded in part by the Economic Development Administration.

In addition to the campus visit, the Brevard leg of the tour is scheduled to include a panel discussion with executives from Embraer, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, a visit to Port Canaveral and presentations at Kennedy Space Center.

“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,” said Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

During the past year, the Florida coalition worked with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Commerce Department on its ACE proposal. The federal government then presented the application to a global committee of experts headed by the Organization of American States.

“We appreciate your 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.


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