The 11th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) will take place from Saturday, May 18, 2019, to Saturday, May 25, 2019. The event has been carefully programmed to facilitate information sharing and collaboration building opportunities for all participants.

Puerto Rico Economic Overview

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States that is roughly 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, with a population of 3.4 million U.S. citizens.

Puerto Rico has asserted its global competitiveness by sustaining a robust cluster of high-technology manufacturing companies, such as life sciences and aerospace, supply industries (number of industries that supply goods and services to the main industry), innovation capabilities, and a highly skilled workforce with a vast knowledge of U.S. and global regulations.

Annual exports of pharmaceuticals and medicines exceed $51 billion and $6.5 billion for medical equipment and supplies. The manufacturing sector share of Puerto Rico’s $105 billion GDP exceeds 48%.

Targeted Clusters and Pleliminary Rout

ACE 11 participants will learn firsthand about Puerto Rico’s emerging innovation ecosystem and the island’s competitive advantages resulting from its geographical location, climate, and relationship with the United States.

The ACE 11 will showcase examples of effective innovation and entrepreneurship-related initiatives underway in Puerto Rico that are impacting its economic development and recovery. The entire event has been programmed to facilitate information sharing and collaboration building opportunities for all participants.

Puerto Rico is committed to providing ample opportunities to participants for the exchange of ideas to foster partnerships and other collaborative relationships with top business executives, researchers, technology entrepreneurs, and local innovation leaders that will produce quick and tangible results that will ultimately help increase the region’s competitiveness. The goal is that every ACE 11 participant will leave the island with new partners, knowledge, and connections.

The program in Puerto Rico will take participants to 10 cities of all sizes throughout the island, where they will interact with over 30 key innovation-driven businesses and institutions.

The locations/cities/regions to be visited are as follows:

Sites and projects to be explored in the various locations during the ACE 11 program are the following (Subject to change):

San Juan, Puerto Rico ’s Capital
The program will begin on May 19 in San Juan with an Official Welcome t by the Honorable Ricardo Rossello Nevarez, Governor of Puerto Rico at La Fortaleza, the oldest Governor’s Mansion in the Western Hemisphere (c.1540).

ACE 11 Official Start Reception will be at the Government of Puerto Rico Reception Center, Old San Juan with interactive presentations.

Participants will visit the Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) a 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 2011 that promotes opportunities for social and economic development in Puerto Rico mostly focused on improving the visitor economy and transforming Puerto Rico as a destination for the world.

Another stop will be at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, established in 2004, under Public Law 214, as an autonomous entity is charged with stimulating innovation, technology commercialization and the creation of high technology jobs.

The first university to be visited during the program will be Polytechnic University in San Juan. A private, non-for-profit university with its main campus in San Juan, and branch campuses in Miami and Orlando, FL. their innovative research projects and collaborative research and expansion experiences.

The Molecular Sciences Research Center/the University of Puerto Rico facility will host presentations on successful innovation related initiatives from the following expansion minded organization currently exploring international collaborative relationships.

In Bayamon, participants will visit Engine-4, the largest co-working space for startups in Puerto Rico, 24,000 sq. Ft. of mixed-used facilities, Bayamon Science Park.

Participants will tour the Arecibo Observatory located in Arecibo, a 305-meter radio telescope located in Arecibo. For many years it was the world’s largest radio telescope.

In Aguadilla, visiting leaders will have the opportunity to connect with the Aeronautical and Aerospace Institute of Puerto Rico (AAIPR) ; A non-profit corporate subsidiary of the University of Puerto Rico. AAIPR provides academic programs in support of the goals and objectives of developing the aeronautical/ aerospace industry in Puerto Rico.

The University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus will serve as a host for presentations related to innovation, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship from three perspectives.

Three Presentations in panel format will be held at the Ponce Health Sciences facilities, followed by discussions on possible collaborative agreements between the presenting entities and ACE 11 participants.

In Caguas, leaders of the Americas and beyond will visit “Iniciativa Tecnológica Centro Oriental” (INTECO), Caguas. INTECO, is a highly effective non-profit regional development organization created in 2003. INTECO also operates INOVA, a model 44,000 sq. Ft., full-service Incubator in the region. Participants will also learn about the success of CIMATEC- A municipal of Caguas operated Math, Science & Technology School created to help stimulate future S&T professionals.

The University of Turabo will be the Host Site for presentations by the Puerto Rico Energy Center. Also, Medtronic and Amgen will discuss their success in developing innovate medical devices and pharmaceutical products in Puerto Rico.

Participants will visit Roosevelt Roads (Former Naval Base), Ceiba. This is one of Puerto Rico’s foremost economic development initiatives.

The Yunque National Forest will be the venue for a review of scientific research, with commercialization possibilities

The ACE 11 in Puerto Rico is convened by the Organization of American States (OAS), as the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) Technical Secretariat; the Government of the United States, through the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State; and the Government of Argentina, through its Ministry of Production as Chair Pro Tempore of RIAC (September 2017-2019).