ACE Louisiana Regions and Sites

New Orleans

ACE Louisiana will begin and end in New Orleans – a U.S. city recognized globally as an epicenter for commercial and cultural exchanges alike. Located conveniently on the Mississippi River, the region offers access to extensive port infrastructure anchored by the Port of New Orleans, major railways, and the re-developed Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Through this, New Orleans has greatly supported the State of Louisiana in serving as the ‘Gateway to the Americas’ – welcoming upwards of 18 million visitors annually.

New Orleans’ strategic location is only one of the region’s assets. ACE participants will explore the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems and thriving industry clusters within the Greater New Orleans region – ranked #1 in Forbes’ “America’s Biggest Brain Magnets” and described by KPMG in their “Guide to International Business Location Costs” as the most economical city to live and work. In recent years, New Orleans has also received recognition as the #1 Brainpower City in the U.S. (Cloud Kitchens) and 4th most entrepreneurial of large MSAs (Cloud Kitchens). What does all this indicate? That New Orleans is emerging as a leading destination for bringing great ideas to life and one’s business to the global arena.

New Orleans has a long history of nurturing trade, energy, and manufacturing industries, and today, the region is increasingly understood to be one of the fastest growing technology hubs in the country. With an established and widening industrial base as well as emerging fields like biotechnology, collaborative research, and digital media, both public and private organizations are investing significant resources and participation into the Greater New Orleans Region. As a result, emerging business opportunities in Orleans and surrounding parishes are tremendous.

Team Louisiana looks forward to welcoming the ACE delegation to the “Big Easy,” and forging strong relationships between our communities and theirs!


During their time in New Orleans, participants will engage with particularly notable projects and organizations including:

  • Smart Port Initiative at Port of New Orleans will streamline operations and improve safety through real-time data shared by port administrators, tenants, shippers, and warehouse, cargo, and ground transportation providers. Attendees will learn about the unique public-private collaborations making this groundbreaking work possible.

  • The BioInnovation Center housed within the BioDistrict – a 4 sq. mi. innovation district focused on growing both the programmatic and physical development components of the biosciences sector in New Orleans – is the sole wet-lab incubator in the State of Louisiana. Attendees will explore the cutting-edge facilities, engage with an array of local startups, and learn about new Soft-Landing opportunities emerging in the region.

  • Off-Shore Wind (OSW) Energy production in places like the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island have been made possible due to Louisiana manufactures such as LM Wind Power. Through ACE Louisiana, attendees will leave understanding exactly how Louisiana provides OSW manufacturers with a highly specialized workforce, superior assets, and competitive business environment.

  • And more!

Lafayette and South Louisiana

Conveniently located midway between Houston and New Orleans, South Louisiana’s nine-parish region, known as “Acadiana,” is substantially diverse — a melting pot of business growth and good times, steeped in tradition and powered by progress. Here, we are enriching companies and communities alike through a variety of integrated economic development initiatives.

At the heart of the region is Lafayette Parish (County). With an entrepreneurial spirit and Cajun and Creole cultures known around the world, Lafayette is a unique environment for work and living. Lafayette is an energy, medical, transportation, finance, entertainment, education, and retail hub. Additionally, the business base of the parish also includes manufacturing, transportation and distribution, technology, tourism, and other service-related industries.

While in Acadiana, ACE participants will learn about some of the region’s most innovative companies, newest corporate developments, recognizable worldwide brands, and cultural economic drivers.

  • Metal Shark— a leading shipbuilder specializing in the development of autonomous vessels for a range of uses— manufactures vessels in aluminum, steel, and fiberglass, with current capabilities supporting production for vessels up to 300’ in length.
  • In May 2021, SafeSource Direct announced the development of two manufacturing facilities for personal protective equipment in Lafayette and St. Martin Parishes, creating 1,200 jobs.
  • Down Highway 90 in Iberia Parish, McIlhenny Company, founded in 1868, manufactures TABASCO® brand products on Avery Island which is also home to “Jungle Gardens,” a 170-acre semitropical garden and bird sanctuary.

Located in Downtown Lafayette, the Acadiana Center for the Arts is a community-supported regional arts council that fosters art and culture in South Louisiana in a state-of-the-art facility and in classrooms throughout the region.

With a talent pipeline fueled by more than 75,000 postsecondary students and backed by the nationally-ranked LED FastStart program, we’ve turned workforce recruitment and development into a science. Lafayette is home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the second-largest university in the state, with over 19,000 students. UL Lafayette offers an exceptional education informed by diverse worldviews grounded in tradition, heritage, and culture. If you are looking to complete your dream team, you’ve come to the right place.

According to Business Facilities, companies from a variety of industries benefit from being in one of the most cost-effective places for doing business in the nation. That fact, coupled with the region’s robust selection of business incentives provides a fertile foundation for both startups and expansion.

The resilience of South Louisiana’s economy is attributed to our strategic growth, entrepreneurial spirit, and skilled workforce that demonstrates a strong work ethic influenced by southern values. With this foundation, Lafayette and South Louisiana foster an economy that supports thriving and diverse industry sectors.


Baton Rouge

Named by French explorers as “the Red Stick,” Baton Rouge is where Louisiana’s capital, flagship university, and unique Cajun and Creole cultures all come together in one nine-parish (county) region. Located in Southeast Louisiana, Baton Rouge is the fifth largest city on the Mississippi River and home to Louisiana’s largest parish. Through local, regional, and state collaboration, the Capital Region has successfully cultivated a diverse range of globally respected entities, strong intellectual capital, and state-of-the-art facilities. Baton Rouge invites ACE 14 attendees to explore the dynamic businesses and world-class research assets that are collaborating on water management, cybersecurity, curing chronic diseases, and cultivating the next generation of leaders. 

Learn why the world has come to view Baton Rouge as the epicenter of expertise and execution in water management and coastal restoration – methodologies that continue to become increasingly crucial for states and nations with coastal populations. ACE 14 attendees will experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the Water Campus, a 36-acre, $60 million, world-class collaborative research campus devoted to the study of coastal restoration and sustainability. The first of its kind in the country, The Water Campus offers more than 1.8 million square feet of labs, research facilities and commercial space to enable water sector innovators to work in a collaborative environment. Current research tenants on The Water Campus include the Water Institute of the Gulf, the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), and the LSU Center for River Studies, home to a 10,000 square foot physical model of the lower Mississippi River.

Another pioneering regional asset, Pennington Biomedical Research Center will offer attendees a look at one of the anchor institutions of the Baton Rouge Health District, a collaborative of the region’s major healthcare providers. At Pennington, attendees will interact with the scientists and researchers that have contributed to every obesity and diabetes drug on the market and learn about the private-sector application of medical discovery in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia. 

At the heart of the region’s ability to be a world-class problem solver is the state’s flagship university. With over 30,000 students and more than 235 areas of undergraduate study, LSU provides a robust and diverse talent pipeline of the highest caliber. ACE attendees will walk the halls of LSU’s best-in-state College of Engineering, where they will see state-of-the-art labs, incubators, and design space.

The Baton Rouge area will expose ACE attendees to the state’s holistic approach to economic development and innovation: supporting the growth of high-skill, export-intensive industries while working diligently to preserve the vast assortment of cultural and environmental resources that make Louisiana the unique and fascinating place that it is.