The Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is one of the main initiatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the promotion of better innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in the Americas, fostering the creation of partnerships throughout the region and beyond. Created and supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. State Department and the OAS, the ACE program is included as part of the core initiatives of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) – http://www.riacnet.org/-, in which the OAS serves as Technical Secretariat.
The ACE is a coordinated best practices-focused program that brings together business and innovation leaders from the private, public and academic sectors, and key officials from countries throughout the hemisphere to network and learn about innovative approaches to economic development. These exchanges allow decision makers to experience at first-hand successful projects, observe and learn from cutting-edge economic development initiatives that are strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems and to establish long-term regional and global partnerships. Specific activities of an ACE tour are selected to advance commerce and trade between participating economies, accelerate business opportunities, and promote collaboration between stakeholders. The objective of the Exchange is to showcase successful examples of entrepreneurship, innovation, strategic investments and public-private partnerships from a specific region/country that contribute to the economic development at the local, national and regional levels. The event brings around 50 economic and political decision makers from across the Americas and beyond for a five-day tour of innovative hubs, leading firms and educational and research institutions, to explore local and regional economic development models, share experiences and knowledge, and build networks among the local and visiting stakeholders to enhance trade and competitiveness of the Americas.