Orange County Hosts Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs welcomed more than 50 leaders in government, academia and the private sector from the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Germany and Israel to the 8th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) in Orange County on Dec. 4.
Other local and national leaders joining Mayor Jacobs included University of Central Florida Vice President for University Relations Dan Holsenbeck, Organization of American States Executive Secretary for Integral Development Kim Hurtault-Osborne, Organization of American States Director for Economic Development Dr. Maryse Robert, U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere John Andersen, U.S. Department of Commerce Senior Administrator Dr. Barrett Haga and Orange County’s Office of Economic Development.
ACE is a regional initiative of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC). The program is designed to build networks between the local and visiting leaders and establish long-term collaborative partnerships.
This year, the ACE program highlighted successful examples of entrepreneurship, innovation, strategic investments and public-private partnerships in Orange County and the North-Central Florida region. The program also provided decision and policy makers a chance to see firsthand the initiatives and entrepreneurship shaping Florida’s communities.
“Through our partnerships with UCF, Team Orlando, the National Center for Simulation and our many MS&T advocates, we’re leading the nation and world in key areas of transformation and research. From photonics and lasers to digital media and simulation, our region serves a perfect example of how strategic vision can be achieved – as well as exponential job creation and economic development – through investment and partnership,” Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said.
Mayor Jacobs presented the opening remarks to attendees on the first day of the event, hosted by the University of Central Florida.
“Central Florida is the total competitive package,” Mayor Jacobs said. “From extraordinary academic achievement and research assets, to the strongest modeling, simulation and training cluster in the nation, we are home to synergy, innovation and discovery.”
Mayor Jacobs also discussed the growth of the University of Central Florida and its reputation as a world-class leader in transformative research, optics and photonics, digital media and modeling and simulation.
Following Mayor Jacobs’ remarks, attendees participated in tours and panel discussions at some of Orange County’s high-tech manufacturing facilities, entrepreneurship hubs and smart cities, including The National Entrepreneur Center, Walt Disney World, Lockheed Martin, Medical City, and BRIDG in Osceola County.
Additionally, attendees toured innovation hubs, leading firms and educational and research institutions in Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Palm Coast, St. Augustine, Gainesville and Tallahassee to experience the economic ecosystem across the North-Central Florida region.
Featured Photo: [L-R] U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere John Andersen, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Organization of American States Executive Secretary for Integral Development Kim Hurtault-Osborne welcome attendees to the 8th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Orange County.