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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Government Selects Central Texas To Host Exclusive Innovation And Entrepreneurship Event

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams today announced that Central Texas cities of Austin, College Station, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, San Antonio and San Marcos, were selected to host the seventh Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) on April 2-7, 2017. The announcement was made during an event in New Braunfels with Mayor Barron Casteel (New Braunfels); Councilman Joseph Krier (San Antonio); and Economic Development Department Director Kevin Johns (Austin).

The ACE program — hosted by the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, in coordination with the Government of Mexico, as Chair Pro Tempore of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network, or RIAC, 2016-2018; and the Organization of American States (OAS) — 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.

“ACE recognizes that we live during a time of unprecedented opportunity for our citizens to take part in the 21st century economy — an economy characterized by innovation, research and development, value-added production, exports, and emerging sectors such as advanced manufacturing,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary Williams. “We are pleased to have the ACE tour in Central Texas to highlight the innovation happening in the southwest and are excited to leverage Department of Commerce resources to facilitate trade and investment.”

During the past year, the Central Texas region worked with the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce on their proposal before the federal government presented their application to a global committee of experts headed by the Organization of American States.

“For all the Member States of the OAS, the Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a valuable regional platform that facilitates long-term partnerships which contribute to the promotion of social inclusion and sustainable economic development through innovation, technology, quality education and a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Ambassador Neil Parsan, Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Organization of American States.

The six-day ACE tour will bring together high-level representatives from around the world to showcase advanced technology centers, innovation hubs, public-private partnerships, and strategic investments. The itinerary will include sites that feature agricultural, advanced manufacturing, medical, viniculture, advanced energy, arts, information and communication technology clusters, as well as every major university in the Central Texas region.

“Texas is honored to host the 2017 Americas Competitive Exchange Program and bring together worldwide leaders in economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “The weeklong tour will be a unique opportunity to showcase urban and rural economic strengths throughout Central and South Texas, featuring business incubators, rural production sites, research centers and new energy initiatives. I am proud to welcome ACE to the Lone Star State for the first time and look forward to building international partnerships that will help keep Texas the home of innovation.”

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. To learn more about EDA, visit www.eda.gov.