Sunday, June 24 to Friday, June 29, 2018

The 9th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship invites key leaders and decision makers from the public, private, and academic sectors to apply for this program.

For the 9th ACE, the Governments of Israel and Germany are delighted to open the highest levels of the economic assets that are making these countries great places to invest, do business, research, develop and test new technologies. The six-day tour will take place from Sunday, June 24 to Friday, June 29, 2018. The initial part of the program will take place Sunday to Tuesday in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv (Israel), and Tuesday evening to Friday will be regionally focused on Berlin and include a day trip to Dresden (Saxony).



The 9th ACE is convened by the Organization of American States (OAS) as the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) Technical Secretariat; the Government of Germany, through its Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; and the Government of Israel, through its Foreign Ministry and Innovation Agency (Israel Innovation Authority).

The organizers thank the collaboration received from the Government of the United States, through the US Department of Commerce and the US Department of State as the ACE Co-founders and ACE Committee Members, and the Government of Argentina, through its Ministry of Production, as Chair Pro Tempore of RIAC (September 2017-2019).


Geographically, Germany and Israel are small countries and yet they rank among the most innovative ones and are on the cutting edge of the technology frontier. Particularly worth looking at is how the countries and their companies explore and use their relative advantages for mutual benefits. For example, they have combined their relative strengths to institutionalize start-up exchange programs which serve to boost both of their economies.

ACE 9 will examine the special features of the Israeli and German economies and innovative systems at large – with a view to expanding cooperation and reach out to the American hemisphere.

In Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the participants will experience the power of Israeli startups in multiple sectors; will be exposed to the cutting-edge technologies in areas of cyber, smart cities, smart mobility, alternative energy, VR, Bio meds and more. They will also have a rare opportunity to meet with experts on plants sciences, plant protection, environmental science and herd management.

In Berlin and Dresden, key features of the German innovation system will be showcased, i.e. its Mittelstand companies (SME), the mission-driven interplay between research institutions and business, as institutionalized i.a. in the Fraunhofer and Helmholtz societies. Since the German innovation policy is decidedly technology-neutral sites visited on the tour will be very diverse. The tour will exemplify how policy tools cater to the specific challenges that companies encounter during the various stages of the innovation process, i.e. “from the idea into the market”. Among the firms showcased on the tour will be globally known brands from the automotive industry, several hidden champions, as well as start-ups from a whole range of businesses, such as mobility, energy, health, digitization and environmental protection.



By the end of the 9th ACE, participants will see how Germany and Israel are:

  • Assisting their companies in closing the gap between ideas and market success.
  • Building bridges between their economies and using them in mutually beneficial ways.
  • Establishing global commercial relationships and FDI partnerships among hosts and participants.
  • Sharing and promoting best practices in economic development to strengthen local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems.
  • Connecting universities, industry, and government to solve complex challenges no one sector or player could address on their own.



Participants will get to know the economic, Innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv (Israel), Berlin and Dresden (Germany)  during a six-day high-level tour for global senior leadership.

ACE 9 will commence (Sunday, June 24th) In Israel at the Israeli Innovation Authority, with an overview of its mandate, divisions and its rational supporting innovation across the Israeli industry. Then the participants will have the unique opportunity to meet cutting edge startups and to learn about their technologies and the entrepreneurial environment in Israel.

Later in the day, the participants will get a glimpse to the innovative ways in which Israel deals with water security and arid areas. Countless innovations from the Volcanic Agriculture Research Organization in Israel have earned worldwide reputation dealing with these phenomena.

The day will end with a Gala Dinner, in the participation of top government and industry leaders.

Day 2 (Monday, June 25th), will start at Google Headquarters in Tel-Aviv, where participants will learn about the development center, will see firsthand the search, analytics and a range of special projects. From there we will start heading north to Hadera, a tranquil Mediterranean town, where we can find a flagship of the desalination industry, an innovative plant that provides clean potable water for over 1 million people in Israel. Upon returning to Tel-Aviv we will stop at SCR COW Intelligence Solution, a provider of advanced cow monitoring systems designed to collect and analyze critical data point for every individual cow. We will end the evening with a culinary and cultural experience of TLV.

The last day of the Israeli part of the tour (Tuesday, June 26th) will take place at the capital city, Jerusalem, with an overview of technology transfer organizations of the Israeli Academic institutions and how they facilitate transfer of technology to industry. Thereafter, the participants will have a rare opportunity of learning from the global leader in the department of vision technology for Advanced Driven Assistance Systems, Mobileye.

Just before taking off to Berlin, we will have one last taste of Israel by exploring the Old City of Jerusalem, the epicenter of history; an experience beyond words that cannot be missed.

In the evening of the third day (Tuesday, 26 June), the group will be transferred to Berlin, Germany, where it will be welcomed in the Brandenburg Gate Museum.

The first morning in Berlin, Germany on day 4 (Wednesday, 27) will be opened in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy with an overview of Germany’s innovation policy instruments and strategies, including testimonials from businesses. Next stop will be the EUREF-Campus, a location developed on a private sector basis, where companies in the fields of energy, sustainability, and mobility collaborate on topics like smart mobility, renewable energy and pollution control. Participants will meet numerous Startups and SMEs from these fields and visit a special exhibition by Mercedes Benz featuring clever approaches to the demographic development – an issue of high relevance to Germany’s competitiveness.

The afternoon will take place at Factory Berlin – a next generation business club – and will be dedicated to the thriving Berlin Start-Up scene and its innovation partnerships with larger firms.

A visit to the “Reichstag” (parliament building) and its glass dome, the latter designed by Sir Norman Foster in the 90s, will lead into a “cluster-evening”: a conference that will reflect Germany’s federal structure by featuring several successful innovation networks comprising industries and research institutions from different regions. This evening will provide first-hand information about cooperation possibilities throughout several geographic and economic areas, combined with excellent networking possibilities.

Day 5 (Thursday, 28) will take participants to the city of Dresden in Saxony, which showcases an area that has successfully mastered the fundamental transition from a formerly socialist to  market economy. The day starts with a business breakfast at the Institut für Holztechnoligie (IHD), the institute for wood related Technology, participants will learn about that comparatively smooth economic transition and get to know key players who were involved in the process: SMEs, R&D institutes, global companies such as Infineon and global foundries, networking organizations, spin-offs, and the Silicon saxony business club. Here Volkswagen will invite participants to its transparent factory and share insights into the production of electric vehicles and latest developments of autonomous driving.

The afternoon will be dedicated to the Fraunhofer society, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. At its Dresden Campus, nine institutes will present R&D projects in the field of material and beam technologies, ceramic technologies, photonic microsystems and more. The evening will end with a boat trip along the romantic Elbe river, providing opportunities to network and enjoy views of the city and its surroundings.

On the final day of ACE 9 (Friday, 29), participants will spend the morning at Adlershof – a locality with a long tradition in science which reinvented itself after the fall of the Berlin wall. Today the “Science City” is one of the most successful high-technology sites in Germany. It is home to 1,041 companies and scientific institutions on an area of 4.2 km² – embedded in an integrated urban planning concept. 16,778 people work and 6,700 study there. Concentrations focus on photonics and optics, renewable energies, microsystems and materials, IT and Media, Biotechnology and Environment. Participants will tour BESSY II, a third generation synchrotron radiation source, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) where they will see examples of market oriented technology projects based on the co-operation between the German “Mittelstand” (SME) and scientific / research institutions as well as for quality infrastructure. After some a tourist break, the afternoon will focus on Germany’s vocational system at ABB’s education center. Participants will learn about the factors that put a successful qualification system under stress – and about approaches to relieve it.

Any (positive) personal stress that participants may hitherto have accumulated from the intense program can be disposed of in the closing event: a relaxed yet inspiring atmosphere and ample scope to deepen conversations and acquaintances with high level keynote speakers will finally conclude ACE 9.