Gainesville/Alachua County Selected Among North Central Florida for 8th Annual America’s Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Greater Gainesville to be featured in tour of Florida’s most innovative regions

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce today announced that a proposal prepared by multiple North-Central Florida cities to host the 8th Annual America’s Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE 8) has been selected from regions across the globe. Regions that collaborated on the proposal in addition to Gainesville/Alachua include Tallahassee/Leon County, Orlando/Orange Country, St. Augustine/St. Johns and Melbourne/Space Coast. The event will be held on December 3-9, 2017.

“Greater Gainesville has long been a contributor to making North Central Florida a hub for talent, innovation and opportunity,” said Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Rory Causseaux. “We are excited to showcase Greater Gainesville’s tremendous legacy of assets among reasons that make North Central Florida an ideal business location.”

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.

“We appreciate your leadership and commitment to welcome 50 high-level decision-makers from the Americas and around the world by opening the doors of your communities to share your experience and competitiveness strengths. We strongly believe that when the right partners come together and increase their level of interaction great things happen for job creation, increased investment, and improved prosperity.” said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dennis Alvord.

Since 2014, ACE has been held in the United States, Argentina, Mexico, and Canada, becoming a catalyst to strengthen hemispheric ties, building on ideas and models that work to promote economic and social development.

During the past year, the North-Central Florida region worked with the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce on its proposal before the federal government presented its application to a global committee of experts headed by the 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, aerospace, tourism, magnetics and others clusters, as well as every major university in the North-Central Florida region, including both of Florida’s preeminent academic universities, Florida State University and the University of Florida.

“We are excited to extend the collaboration and partnerships that facilitated being selected as the 8th ACE hosts and look forward to embarking on this week-long exchange that recognizes Florida’s well-known position as a global leader in the tourism and economic development industries,” Said Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. We are confident highlighting the region’s economic anchors along with world class innovative endeavors and assets will showcase opportunities for economic partnerships throughout the Americas.”

About the Greater Gainesville (FL) Region

Located in North Central Florida, Greater Gainesville is home to the state’s youngest and most educated population, the fourth most prolific university commercialization engine in the nation, the University of Florida, and the nation’s No. 1 community college, Santa Fe College. The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,300 members that employ more than 80,000 employees. The Chamber works to advance its mission to facilitate economic prosperity, business growth and community progress in the region. Via five lines of business – Business Development, Economic Development, Workforce Development, Public Policy, and Regional Growth – the Chamber is working to position Greater Gainesville as a global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity. For more information visit

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