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INFORMATION BULLETIN
The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange
on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
1. Objectives of the exchange
2. Convening institutions
3. Profile of participants
4. General information on visits/projects
5. Hotels and estimated budget
6. Dress code
7. Transportation
8. Financial support
9. Meals
10. Electricity
11. Visa
12. Contact information
ANNEX I – Application form
April 19 to April 24, 2015
United States
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The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange
on Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
A High-level visit of Ministers, Economic Leaders and Experts to Technology and Innovation
Centers in the U.S. States of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois
Sunday, April 19 to Friday, April 24, 2015
1. Objectives of the Exchange
The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) invites key
leaders and decision makers to experience firsthand successful projects and experiences in the Midwest
U.S. States of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. The activity is included in the Inter-American
Competitiveness Network (RIAC) Work Plan for 2015 to facilitate collaboration on the 150 successful
experiences that OAS Member States shared in the 2012-2014 Signs of Competitiveness Americas
Reports www.riacreport.org
This six-day tour will showcase catalytic drivers such as advanced technology centers, innovation hubs,
public-private partnerships, and strategic investments in the cities of Minneapolis and Rochester,
Minnesota; LaCrosse, Viroqua, Gays Mills, Cashton, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Chicago,
Illinois. Featured sites on the tour target the following clusters: manufacturing, medical devices, water,
agriculture, energy, and information and communication technology.
The ACE is the ideal opportunity for decision makers to establish long-term global/regional partnerships
and to see the results and good practices of economic development initiatives in the Americas that seek
to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. The activities of the week have been
selected to increase the prospect of advancing commerce and trade between participating economies,
accelerate business opportunities and collaboration for all stakeholders.
For more information and updates on the upcoming ACE please visit the following link or take a look to
the Twitter’s Hashtag #ACXchange
http://riacnet.org/third-americas-competitiveness-exchange-on-innovation-and-
entrepreneurship/ct_148/en/
For additional information on the First ACE in the United States, please refer to the following link:
http://riacnet.org/americas-competitiveness-exchange-on-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/ct_43/en/
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2. Convening institutions
The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the
Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of State, the Government of
Guatemala, as Chair Pro Tempore of RIAC 2015, and the Organization of American States as the RIAC
Technical Secretariat.
3. Profile of participants
Decision Makers who can make economic development happen: Ministers/Vice Ministers or equivalent,
Chief Ministers, members of Congress/Legislature/Parliament, Private Sector Leaders, Mayors or Senior
Leaders from cities, Chancellors/Presidents/Vice Presidents of Universities, Presidents of
Competitiveness Councils, Senior leaders of regional economic development partnership groups, or
other key public or private sector individuals, among others.
Applicants should:
a. Have academic and professional background that would facilitate inter and intra country based
development, such as foreign direct investment, trade, exports, supply chain linkages, shared
technology, etc.
b. Should be able to allocate resources, propose and adopt key policies, and/or possess the
necessary connections to make identified priorities and actions possible within their country and
in collaboration with other countries.
c. Be fluent in English.
d. Have a valid visa (If necessary) to enter the United States.
e. Provide visa, passport, and other necessary information to complete travel procedures.
Participation is expected from at least 45 delegates from the Americas, including participants of the OAS
Inter-American Dialogue of High-Level Authorities of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to be
held on April 16 to 17, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Participation from other regions, such as Korea and
India, are also expected.
The application form is available in the ANNEX I of this document.
Some US authorities, international officials and experts expected to attend the tour include the
following:
 THE HONORABLE PENNY PRITZER – SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
 THE HONORABLE BRUCE ANDREWS – DEPUTY SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
 SHERRY TROSS - EXECUTIVE SECRETARY FOR INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT- ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN
STATES
 THE HONORABLE JAY WILLIAMS – ASSISTANT SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
 THE HONORABLE ARUN KUMAR – ASSISTANT SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
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 JOHN ANDERSEN – PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE – INTERNATIONAL TRADE
ADMINISTRATION
 MATT ERSKINE – DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
ADMINISTRATION
 HOLLY VINEYARD – DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE – INTERNATIONAL TRADE
ADMINISTRATION
 THOMAS GUEVARA - DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
ADMINISTRATION
 VINAI THUMMALAPALLY – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – SELECTUSA
 THE HONORABLE BETSY HODGES – MAYOR – CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS
 THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN – MAYOR – CITY OF ST. PAUL
 THE HONORABLE ARDELL BREDE – MAYOR – CITY OF ROCHESTER, MN
 THE HONORABLE TOM BARRETT – MAYOR – CITY OF MILWAUKEE, WI
 THE HONORABLE PAUL SOGLIN – Mayor – CITY OF MADISON, WI
 DR. CHRISTIAN KETELS – MEMBER - HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL FACULTY AT PROFESSOR MICHAEL E.
PORTER’S INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGY AND COMPETITIVENESS
 DR. REBECCA M. BLANK – CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON AND FORMER
ACTING UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
4. General information on visits/projects
The detailed itinerary will be circulated closer to the event date.
Sunday, April 19
- US Cluster Mapping Project- the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project is a national economic initiative
that provides over 50 million open data records on industry clusters and regional business
environments in the United States to promote economic growth and national competitiveness. The
project is led by Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership
with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration.
- Greater Minneapolis – St. Paul - GREATER MSP (Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic
Development Partnership) is a private non-profit organization (501C3) dedicated to providing public and
private sector leadership, coordination and engagement to grow the economy of the 16-county
Minneapolis Saint Paul region. With its economic development partners throughout the region,
GREATER MSP is advancing a coordinated regional economic development strategy, a coordinated
regional brand to promote the region’s assets and a coordinated regional business retention, expansion,
and recruitment program to stimulate capital investment and job creation in the region. The Greater
MSP region is a hub of thriving companies who take advantage of locational assets the region has to
offer. These companies include: UnitedHealth Group, Target, Best Buy, Supervalu, 3M, CHS, U.S.
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Bancorp, Medtronic and General Mills. They attract international recognition every year for their
innovation, sustainability, ethical leadership, brand value, corporate citizenship and leadership. It is the
5th
region with the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, 18 of which are located within the
MSP area.
Monday, April 20
- University of Minnesota- The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research
university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. It is ranked among the top 25 of the nation's
top research universities by the Center for Measuring University Performance. In 2014, the University of
Minnesota - Twin Cities ranked 22th out of more than 1000 international institutions recognized by
the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and is considered a Public Ivy, which recognizes top public
research universities in the United States. Twenty-five University faculty and graduates have won a
Nobel Prize.
- Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) - is a U.S. based research institute established by
the Minnesota state legislature within the University of Minnesota Duluth. NRRI is a non-profit applied
research organization with a mission to improve the economy of Minnesota by helping its industries
compete in the global marketplace with improved or new products and more efficient processes. The
institute helps launch promising small businesses and provides ongoing research and development
assistance. Because Minnesota’s economy relies heavily on natural resource-based industries (forest
products, taconite ore mining) the institute also focuses research on understanding problems, and
developing tools to solve problems, that impede the environmentally sound development of the
economy. Environmental program areas include: water resources, land resources, land-water
interactions, and environmental chemistry.
- Mayo Clinic - Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group based
in Rochester, Minnesota. It is the first and largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the
world, employing more than 3,800 physicians and scientists and 50,900 allied health staff. The practice
specializes in treating difficult cases through tertiary care. It spends over $500 million a year on
research. Mayo Clinic ranked No. 1 on the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report List of "Best Hospitals",
and has been near the top for more than 20 years, and it is widely regarded as one of the world's
premier medical practices.
- City of LaCrosse- is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. Lying
alongside the Mississippi River, La Crosse is the largest city on Wisconsin's western border. The
estimated population in 2012 was 51,647. The city forms the core of, and is the principal city in the La
Crosse Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of La Crosse County and Houston County,
Minnesota, with a combined population of 135,298. La Crosse is a college town and is home to
the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College. Recognized as
a regional technology and medical hub, La Crosse frequently acquires top rankings in health, well-being,
quality of life, and education.
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Tuesday, April 21
- Vernon County, WI Food Incubator- The Food Enterprise Center in Viroqua, Wisconsin creates amazing
opportunities for food entrepreneurs and social investors by providing infrastructure for innovative food
and wellness/exercise-related businesses to startup and expand. Businesses benefit from shared
common areas, on-site technical assistance, one-to-one business counseling, access to resources, peer
mentoring and the synergy of co-locating with like-minded people. The center welcomed its first tenant
in 2010 and today houses more than 10 food and wellness-related businesses which employ at least 45
people. Businesses include Kickapoo Coffee, LuSa Organics, Driftless Co-Option, EZ Farming, Sole
Expressions Dance Studio Cooperative and the Gleaned Food Project. Tenant Fifth Season Cooperative
provides coordination infrastructure by moving local foods and value-added food products to
institutional markets through Reinhart Food Service distribution. Businesses such as Wisco Pop, Scoville
Unlimited and Fizzeology create value-added food products in the two commercial kitchens that are
available on a scheduled basis.
- Gays Mills, WI- The Village of Gays Mills, population of about 600, suffered through significant flooding
of the Kickapoo River in 2007 and 2008 that led to the loss of 40 homes. The U.S. Commerce
Department’s Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities
that are impacted by natural disasters get on a path to economic recovery. The $4.3 million grant to the
Village of Gays Mills and the Redevelopment Authority of Gays Mills to help move local businesses out
of the floodplain by developing three new business centers will strengthen the local economy and foster
long-term business growth as well as ensuring continued distribution from their extensive apple
orchards.
- Cashton, WI – In 2010, The Village of La Farge, Vernon County received a grant of $990,286 to make
infrastructure improvements needed to support the region’s emerging organic agribusiness industry.
The project is expected to create 40 jobs and generate $4.6 million in private investment. The Economic
Development Administration (EDA) investment will help build a roadway extension, street lights, and
sanitary, storm and water mains to serve a facility being built by Organic Valley Family of Farms to serve
as the national headquarters. The food distribution center of this national co-operative is located nearby
in Cashton, WI. Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative and a national leader in the organic foods
industry.
Wednesday, April 22
- University of Wisconsin – Madison - It is a public institution founded in 1848. In the 2014 QS World
University Rankings, UW was ranked 37th in the world and received five excellence stars. It was ranked
24th among world universities and 18th among universities in the Americas in Shanghai Jiao Tong
University's 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, which assesses academic and research
performance. In the G-factor International University Ranking of 2006, which is a re-analysis of
the Shanghai Jiao Tong University data, the UW–Madison was listed 13th. The Times Higher Education
Supplement placed it 27th worldwide, based primarily on surveys administered to students, faculty, and
recruiters. UW–Madison ranks fourth in the country as measured by dollars spent on research at U.S.
universities (National Science Foundation, 2013); 13th among public institutions in U.S. News & World
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Report’s 2015 edition of America’s Best Colleges; 11th best public institution (Forbes 2014); Second
“most-influential” university in higher education social media (Klout.com, 2011).
- Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP)- MadREP was established in 2007 under the original
name of Thrive, Inc. In 2013, MadREP began implementation of the five-year Advance Now Strategy for
economic growth, which served as an impetus for a re-branding to Madison Region Economic
Partnership (MadREP). The Madison Region includes the south central Wisconsin counties of Columbia,
Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk. MadREP is an investment-driven Economic
Development Organization (EDO), is 80% privately funded, and is one of nine regional EDOs in the State
of Wisconsin. More information is available at http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=www.madisonregion.org
- University Research Park- Established in 1984, University Research Park, a University of Wisconsin-
Madison affiliate, is an internationally recognized research and technology park that supports early-
stage, and growth-oriented businesses in a range of sectors, including engineering, computational and
life sciences. URP2, an extension of URP, is a commercial and residential “New Urbanist” development
that aims for environmentally friendly, walkable neighborhoods where people can live and work. URP
and URP2 are in the business of building capital. For 30 years, University Research Park has fostered the
social, human, and technological capital needed to create growth, career, and technology opportunities
for Wisconsin and beyond. It contributes more than $825 million to Wisconsin’s economy each year,
according to a study conducted by NorthStar Economics Inc., of Madison. The study also found that the
Park supports nearly 9,300 jobs statewide, and generates $43 million in state and local tax revenue each
year.
-Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery – The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is a transdisciplinary
research institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison that explores information — from cells to
societies — across disciplines at the interfaces of research, education and business. They construct
networks to spark synergy and discoveries among our diverse community — whether it’s video games
developers creating games with neuroscientists, dancers conveying science through motion, humanists
hacking literary texts, business professionals exchanging insights with researchers or cartoonists
exploring the roots of creativity across disciplines. Housing the Town Center which provides more
structured outreach programs and workshops offer participants the opportunity to connect with
scientific topics ranging from regenerative biology to rapid prototyping and the Morgridge Institute for
Research, which is an interdisciplinary research center and a collaborative hub that enables investigators
to address and answer fundamental biomedical questions.
- Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research - The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR) is located within
a licensed, operating dairy plant on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, to develop and test
dairy products .The facilities including a cheese pilot plant, dairy ingredients pilot plant, sensory lab, an
analytical lab and an applications lab are available for CDR partner trial runs and testing. CDR is
continuing to grow and as we move forward with our building campaign, we will be expanding our
facilities and offerings based on client needs. In 2014 alone, in the area of whey products, CDR staff
participated in 3 USDEC trade missions to South Korea & China, promoting the benefits of U.S. dairy
ingredients. CDR staff also participated in two reverse trade missions where food company
representatives from Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia traveled to Chicago to learn about
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the use of U.S. dairy ingredients. With respect to cheese, the CDR hosted two one-day Cheese 101
training courses for USDEC reverse trade missions from Middle East foodservice operators and Korean
pizza chains; and lectured at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture’s (DATCP) sponsored reversed
trade mission visit from a Chinese buyers group. CDR also hosts numerous international visitors each
year to learn about CDR's ongoing dairy product research and applications work.
- Epic Systems- Epic is a privately held health care software company founded in 1979 by Judith R.
Faulkner. Its systems are installed in major hospitals, and hold the medical records of 54% of patients in
the U.S. and 2.5% of patients worldwide. Originally headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, Epic moved
its headquarters to a campus nearby Verona, Wisconsin in 2005 where it now employs more than 8,000
people. In 2015 it plans the fifth phase of expansion with five new buildings, each planned to be around
100,000 square feet. Epic's market focus is large health care organizations. Epic offers an integrated
suite of health care software centered on a cache database provided by InterSystems.
Thursday, April 23
- Milwaukee Water Council and the Global Water Center- The Water Council's Mission is to align the
regional freshwater research community and water-related industries to establish the Milwaukee region
as the World Water Hub for water research, economic development, and education. The Water Council
was formed in 2007 out of a meeting of 60 Milwaukee area professionals, business leaders and
educators who were all deeply interested in the potential for creating a single entity to represent
Milwaukee’s water technology cluster. The goal was to gain recognition as a World Water Hub. Today
The Water Council is convening the region's existing water companies and research clusters, developing
education programs to train our talent, and building partnerships that cut across all sectors and
geographic boundaries. The Water Council consists of over 170 corporate members that encompass the
entire water cycle, as well as support and professional service providers, that span the region, nation
and entire globe.
- University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Foundation Innovation Campus - Milwaukee County Research
Park Corporation (MCRPC) develops and manages a research and technology park for start-up
technology-based companies in Wauwatosa. Its park includes a technology business incubator that
provides space for companies in information technologies, medical and biotechnology, electronic
equipment, industrial automation, engineering, composite materials, and other technologies. Innovation
Campus includes a business accelerator that has provided science-related services to local
entrepreneurs. The site is also hosting the headquarters of ABB Inc., a company specializing in power
and automation services.
- Century City New Development, Milwaukee, WI - The Department of Natural Resources, City of
Milwaukee, and 30th Street Industrial Corridor Corporation partnered to transform properties in the
“Corridor”, a blighted area, into productive parcels of land for industrial, commercial, residential or
mixed uses. Century City, Milwaukee, Wisconsin represents the core component of the Corridor's
revitalization, starting with an $800,000 grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency to reclaim
brownfields. With a $1M grant from the EDA, Century City will be a high-quality, market ready, modern
business park that is anticipated to attract new businesses and jobs, focus private reinvestment in the
area, while improving surrounding land uses.
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- M-WERC - The Midwest Energy Research Consortium, founded in 2009, represents one of America’s
largest clusters of energy, power and control companies, educational and research institutions, and
other key industry stakeholders. Located in the heart of the Midwest region, M-WERC acts as a catalyst
for the growth of these companies and industries, through technology innovation, advanced research,
market development, information sharing, workforce development and strategic collaboration. M-WERC
connects and synchronizes the region’s expansive industry, collaborative and academic assets in a highly
synergistic manner. Through its industry and technology roadmapping, advanced research and
development and public policy efforts, M-WERC expects to help the consortium to achieve national
leadership in technology, resulting in growth of sales and employment. The Consortium consists of over
80 nationally and internationally recognized industrial members and academic Institutions. M-WERC’s
industrial members represent over 50% of the region’s 100,000-person workforce engaged in energy,
power and controls. These businesses include industry giants such as Johnson Controls, Rockwell
Automation, Briggs and Stratton, American Transmission Company, S&C Electric Regal Beloit, AO Smith,
Kohler Power Systems, and DRS Power and Control Technologies. Our Academic membership features
four of the largest universities in the region, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, Marquette University and
the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Region’s largest Technical Colleges are also active in the
Consortium including Milwaukee Area Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College, Lakeshore
Technical College and Gateway Technical College.
- The Historic Third Ward - The Historic Third Ward is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as
Milwaukee's oldest center of commerce and warehousing. The Third Ward is home to over 500
businesses and maintains an unparalleled position within the retail and professional service community
as Milwaukee's showcase mixed-use district. The neighborhood's renaissance is anchored by many
extraordinary shops, restaurants, art galleries, theatre groups, dance companies, photographers,
advertising agencies and graphic artists. Over 6,000 employees work within a 60 block area, which is
only two-thirds developed. There has also been a large growth of residential units; starting with 125
units in 1995, there are now over 1200 units. The Historic Third Ward has become the hub for artistic
activity and exhibition within Milwaukee and is currently home to more than 27 galleries and art studios,
the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), and the Broadway Theatre Center, which houses the
world-renowned Skylight Opera Theatre and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Four years ago the
association began co-sponsoring the premier quarterly art event Gallery Night and Day, which attracts
over 5,000 people four times a year to our neighborhood. To date, there has been about $25 million of
public investment which has generated over $250 million in private investment. Over the last 20 years,
property values have climbed from $1 to $40 per square foot for unimproved buildings, rental rates for
commercial space have gone from $1.50 to as high as $20 per square foot and the assessed value of the
Third Ward as gone from $40 to $531 million.
Milwaukee 7- The Milwaukee 7, launched in September 2005, was formed to create a regional,
cooperative economic development platform for the seven counties of southeastern
Wisconsin: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha. Its mission is
to attract, retain and grow diverse businesses and talent. Together, these seven counties have a wealth
of corporate headquarters, a pool of highly skilled workers and world-class amenities. Competing as a
region broadens our range of choices and opportunities and gives us the competitive edge that we need,
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today, and into the future. The Milwaukee 7 continues to build the region's capacity and accelerate
economic growth. Through its work, more than 5,700 jobs have been created or retained in the region,
with an impact of more than $300 million in direct payroll and $800 million in capital investment. The
Milwaukee 7 has also leveraged millions of dollars in federal earmarks, state assistance and other
municipal investments for business projects that make the Milwaukee Region stronger and a more
attractive place to do business.
Friday, April 24
- Chicago - Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—approximately
$532 billion according to 2010 estimates. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced
economy in the United States due to its high level of diversification. Chicago was named the fourth most
important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. In
2009 Chicago placed 9th on the UBS list of the world's richest cities. The city of Chicago also hosts 12
Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies.
- Argonne National Laboratory - The Advanced Photon Source (APS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s
Argonne National Laboratory is one of the most technologically complex machines in the world. This
premier national research facility provides the brightest high-energy X-ray beams in the Western
Hemisphere to more than 6,000 scientists each year from every U.S. state, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, and countries in the world. These scientists come to the APS from academia, industry,
medical schools, and other institutions to carry out research that promises new discoveries in nearly
every scientific discipline, from materials science to life science; chemistry; environmental, geological,
and planetary science; and physics. The X-ray beams provided by this remarkable facility enable the
collection of data in unprecedented detail and in amazingly short time frames. The knowledge these
researchers gain here is having a real and positive impact on our technologies, our health, our economy,
and our fundamental understanding of the materials that make up our world.
- UI Labs and the National Digital Manufacturing Institute - Chicago-based UI LABS was awarded $70
million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to fund the Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation
Institute (DMDII). This award is leveraged by commitments of approximately $250 million from industry,
academic, government and community partners. The DMDII is the nation’s flagship research institute for
applying cutting-edge digital technologies to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthen the
capabilities of the U.S. supply chain, and reduce acquisition costs for DoD. The DMDII will both develop
and demonstrate digital manufacturing technologies and deploy and commercialize these technologies
across key manufacturing industries. UI LABS is a Chicago-based research and commercialization
collaborative, bringing Universities, Industry and Government together to define problems, design
partnerships and deliver scalable solutions to tomorrow’s most important challenges. UI LABS unites
Universities, Industry and Government to solve complex challenges no one sector or player could
address on their own. We break down the barriers between stakeholders and provide a neutral platform
for collaboration, curating unique and diverse partnerships.
- University of Illinois Super Computer - Blue Waters is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the
world, and is the fastest supercomputer on a university campus. Scientists and engineers across the
country use the computing and data power of Blue Waters to tackle a wide range of challenging
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problems, from predicting the behavior of complex biological systems to simulating the evolution of the
cosmos.
- University Technology Park at IIT - The University Technology Park at IIT (UTP) is Illinois’ and Chicago’s
premier location for established and start-up technology companies to grow and thrive. UTP is more
than just a space to work. The high-tech companies at UTP benefit from unparalleled access to like-
minded entrepreneurs and researchers, IIT’s high-caliber student work force, funding assistance and the
full range of sophisticated equipment and instrumentation on IIT’s campus including business services
(funding, faculty advising, entrepreneurship guidance, and research assistance); outside resources that
have strong partnerships with UTP and provide funding and support for science and technology
businesses in Illinois and Chicago; and conference space available for meetings and presentations.
Analytical equipment tenants have substantial resources at their fingertips, a benefit of IIT's prominence
as a science and engineering research-driven university.
5. Hotel and estimated budget
Total estimated hotel costs for the entire ACE trip from 19-24 April 2015 is: $850 including tax.
Kindly note that participants will be responsible for arranging their own hotel reservations and paying
for their accommodations at ACE selected hotels. Detailed information will be circulated to selected
participants.
6. Dress Code
Business or business casual, depending on the site visits scheduled for the day. This will be confirmed
closer to the date of the activity.
7. Transportation
The program organizers will arrange local transportation throughout the visit. This means transportation
by bus from site to site and between different cities. Applicants will cover their airfare and the
transportation to and from the airport.
8. Financial support
Partial economic assistance may be available for qualified nominated participants who request support,
particularly from smaller economies.
In order to be considered for partial financial support, please complete the application form (ANNEX I)
and provide an additional brief letter requesting assistance. Kindly submit the application form and the
letter to abonilla@oas.org and leann.tagwerker@trade.gov
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Financial support for this activity is provided by the Government of the United States and the
Government of Canada through its Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).
9. Meals
Various meals are provided by the organizers but participants will cover other meals and miscellaneous
items.
Please inform us of any dietary restrictions and/or allergies in your application so we can do our best to
accommodate meal preferences whenever possible.
10. Electricity
Electric power is standardized in all states across the USA. It is set at 110 Volts and 60 cycles.
Standard electric plugs have two flat blades. The plugs on some newer appliances have a third round
grounding pin. Almost all homes and commercial buildings are equipped with electrical receptacles that
can accommodate either type of plug.
11. Visa
Information can be found at the following link:
www.immigrationdirect.com/foreign-entry-requirements-USA.jsp?gclid=CN_WydyX-
bwCFQfNOgodc0AAOQ
12. Contact information
Adriana Bonilla
Americas Competitiveness Forum Coordinator
Inter-American Competitiveness Network
Technical Secretariat
Department of Economic Development
Executive Secretariat for Integral Development
Organization of American States
abonilla@oas.org
LeAnn Tagwerker
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the
Western Hemisphere
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
leann.tagwerker@trade.gov
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ANNEX I - APPLICATION FORM
The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange
on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Sunday, April 19 – Friday, April 24, 2015, United States
Candidates need to fill out this application form electronically in English, sign it, and send it scanned no
later than Friday, March 6, 2015 to Adriana Bonilla at abonilla@oas.org and LeAnn Tagwerker at
leann.tagwerker@trade.gov
1. Personal information
a. Last name:
b. Middle name (if applicable):
c. First name:
d. Sex (m/f):
e. Current nationality (ies):
f. Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):
g. Place of birth (city, province, country):
h. Passport #:
i. Passport issue city:
j. Passport expiration date:
2. Profile
a. Current title/position:
b. Describe your current position (max. 200 words):
c. Please attach resume/cv with the application
3. Interest in the tour
a. What are your expectations for participating in this Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on
Innovation and Entrepreneurship? (max. 100 words)
b. Why would you like to participate in the ACE? Is there any specific site (s) of particular interest?
Please refer to the site visits listed in the point 4 of this information bulletin (max. 100 words)
c. How can you and your country benefit from the site visits? How can the site host benefit from your
participation? (max. 100 words)
d. Explain how you have authorized and/or allocated resources, proposed and adopted key policies, or
possessed the necessary connections to advance economic development priorities within your country
14 | P a g e
and/or in collaboration with other countries (max. 100 words)
e. How are you planning to disseminate the knowledge and lessons learned from this trip so it can be
useful for others? Please describe (max. 100 words)
4. Reasonable accommodation
a. Please list any health conditions we should be aware of in case of an emergency.
b. Do you require reasonable accommodation for any medical conditions or disabilities? Please describe.
c. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions and/or allergies.
d. Please include information for an Emergency Contact.
5. Social Media
a. Please list your personal Twitter/Facebook account and/or the Twitter/Facebook account of your
organization, if available.
Tour requirements
Applicants should:
a. Have academic and professional background that facilitates inter and intra country based
development such as foreign direct investment, trade, exports, supply chain linkages, shared
technology, etc.
b. Should be able to authorize and/or allocate resources, propose and adopt key policies, and/or possess
the necessary connections to make identified priorities and actions possible within their country and in
collaboration with other countries.
c. Be fluent in English
d. Have a valid visa (If necessary) to enter the United States
e. Provide visa, passport, and other necessary information to complete travel procedures
I ____________________________ declare that the information provided is true and correct and I
meet with all of the requirements to participate during The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange
on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to take place from April 19 to April 24, 2015 in the United States.

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The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • 1. 1 | P a g e f INFORMATION BULLETIN The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 1. Objectives of the exchange 2. Convening institutions 3. Profile of participants 4. General information on visits/projects 5. Hotels and estimated budget 6. Dress code 7. Transportation 8. Financial support 9. Meals 10. Electricity 11. Visa 12. Contact information ANNEX I – Application form April 19 to April 24, 2015 United States
  • 2. 2 | P a g e The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A High-level visit of Ministers, Economic Leaders and Experts to Technology and Innovation Centers in the U.S. States of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois Sunday, April 19 to Friday, April 24, 2015 1. Objectives of the Exchange The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) invites key leaders and decision makers to experience firsthand successful projects and experiences in the Midwest U.S. States of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. The activity is included in the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) Work Plan for 2015 to facilitate collaboration on the 150 successful experiences that OAS Member States shared in the 2012-2014 Signs of Competitiveness Americas Reports www.riacreport.org This six-day tour will showcase catalytic drivers such as advanced technology centers, innovation hubs, public-private partnerships, and strategic investments in the cities of Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota; LaCrosse, Viroqua, Gays Mills, Cashton, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Chicago, Illinois. Featured sites on the tour target the following clusters: manufacturing, medical devices, water, agriculture, energy, and information and communication technology. The ACE is the ideal opportunity for decision makers to establish long-term global/regional partnerships and to see the results and good practices of economic development initiatives in the Americas that seek to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. The activities of the week have been selected to increase the prospect of advancing commerce and trade between participating economies, accelerate business opportunities and collaboration for all stakeholders. For more information and updates on the upcoming ACE please visit the following link or take a look to the Twitter’s Hashtag #ACXchange http://riacnet.org/third-americas-competitiveness-exchange-on-innovation-and- entrepreneurship/ct_148/en/ For additional information on the First ACE in the United States, please refer to the following link: http://riacnet.org/americas-competitiveness-exchange-on-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/ct_43/en/
  • 3. 3 | P a g e 2. Convening institutions The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of State, the Government of Guatemala, as Chair Pro Tempore of RIAC 2015, and the Organization of American States as the RIAC Technical Secretariat. 3. Profile of participants Decision Makers who can make economic development happen: Ministers/Vice Ministers or equivalent, Chief Ministers, members of Congress/Legislature/Parliament, Private Sector Leaders, Mayors or Senior Leaders from cities, Chancellors/Presidents/Vice Presidents of Universities, Presidents of Competitiveness Councils, Senior leaders of regional economic development partnership groups, or other key public or private sector individuals, among others. Applicants should: a. Have academic and professional background that would facilitate inter and intra country based development, such as foreign direct investment, trade, exports, supply chain linkages, shared technology, etc. b. Should be able to allocate resources, propose and adopt key policies, and/or possess the necessary connections to make identified priorities and actions possible within their country and in collaboration with other countries. c. Be fluent in English. d. Have a valid visa (If necessary) to enter the United States. e. Provide visa, passport, and other necessary information to complete travel procedures. Participation is expected from at least 45 delegates from the Americas, including participants of the OAS Inter-American Dialogue of High-Level Authorities of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to be held on April 16 to 17, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Participation from other regions, such as Korea and India, are also expected. The application form is available in the ANNEX I of this document. Some US authorities, international officials and experts expected to attend the tour include the following:  THE HONORABLE PENNY PRITZER – SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE  THE HONORABLE BRUCE ANDREWS – DEPUTY SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE  SHERRY TROSS - EXECUTIVE SECRETARY FOR INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT- ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES  THE HONORABLE JAY WILLIAMS – ASSISTANT SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE  THE HONORABLE ARUN KUMAR – ASSISTANT SECRETARY – US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
  • 4. 4 | P a g e  JOHN ANDERSEN – PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE – INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION  MATT ERSKINE – DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION  HOLLY VINEYARD – DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE – INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION  THOMAS GUEVARA - DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION  VINAI THUMMALAPALLY – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – SELECTUSA  THE HONORABLE BETSY HODGES – MAYOR – CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS  THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN – MAYOR – CITY OF ST. PAUL  THE HONORABLE ARDELL BREDE – MAYOR – CITY OF ROCHESTER, MN  THE HONORABLE TOM BARRETT – MAYOR – CITY OF MILWAUKEE, WI  THE HONORABLE PAUL SOGLIN – Mayor – CITY OF MADISON, WI  DR. CHRISTIAN KETELS – MEMBER - HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL FACULTY AT PROFESSOR MICHAEL E. PORTER’S INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGY AND COMPETITIVENESS  DR. REBECCA M. BLANK – CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON AND FORMER ACTING UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF COMMERCE 4. General information on visits/projects The detailed itinerary will be circulated closer to the event date. Sunday, April 19 - US Cluster Mapping Project- the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project is a national economic initiative that provides over 50 million open data records on industry clusters and regional business environments in the United States to promote economic growth and national competitiveness. The project is led by Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration. - Greater Minneapolis – St. Paul - GREATER MSP (Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership) is a private non-profit organization (501C3) dedicated to providing public and private sector leadership, coordination and engagement to grow the economy of the 16-county Minneapolis Saint Paul region. With its economic development partners throughout the region, GREATER MSP is advancing a coordinated regional economic development strategy, a coordinated regional brand to promote the region’s assets and a coordinated regional business retention, expansion, and recruitment program to stimulate capital investment and job creation in the region. The Greater MSP region is a hub of thriving companies who take advantage of locational assets the region has to offer. These companies include: UnitedHealth Group, Target, Best Buy, Supervalu, 3M, CHS, U.S.
  • 5. 5 | P a g e Bancorp, Medtronic and General Mills. They attract international recognition every year for their innovation, sustainability, ethical leadership, brand value, corporate citizenship and leadership. It is the 5th region with the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, 18 of which are located within the MSP area. Monday, April 20 - University of Minnesota- The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. It is ranked among the top 25 of the nation's top research universities by the Center for Measuring University Performance. In 2014, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ranked 22th out of more than 1000 international institutions recognized by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and is considered a Public Ivy, which recognizes top public research universities in the United States. Twenty-five University faculty and graduates have won a Nobel Prize. - Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) - is a U.S. based research institute established by the Minnesota state legislature within the University of Minnesota Duluth. NRRI is a non-profit applied research organization with a mission to improve the economy of Minnesota by helping its industries compete in the global marketplace with improved or new products and more efficient processes. The institute helps launch promising small businesses and provides ongoing research and development assistance. Because Minnesota’s economy relies heavily on natural resource-based industries (forest products, taconite ore mining) the institute also focuses research on understanding problems, and developing tools to solve problems, that impede the environmentally sound development of the economy. Environmental program areas include: water resources, land resources, land-water interactions, and environmental chemistry. - Mayo Clinic - Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota. It is the first and largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the world, employing more than 3,800 physicians and scientists and 50,900 allied health staff. The practice specializes in treating difficult cases through tertiary care. It spends over $500 million a year on research. Mayo Clinic ranked No. 1 on the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report List of "Best Hospitals", and has been near the top for more than 20 years, and it is widely regarded as one of the world's premier medical practices. - City of LaCrosse- is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. Lying alongside the Mississippi River, La Crosse is the largest city on Wisconsin's western border. The estimated population in 2012 was 51,647. The city forms the core of, and is the principal city in the La Crosse Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of La Crosse County and Houston County, Minnesota, with a combined population of 135,298. La Crosse is a college town and is home to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College. Recognized as a regional technology and medical hub, La Crosse frequently acquires top rankings in health, well-being, quality of life, and education.
  • 6. 6 | P a g e Tuesday, April 21 - Vernon County, WI Food Incubator- The Food Enterprise Center in Viroqua, Wisconsin creates amazing opportunities for food entrepreneurs and social investors by providing infrastructure for innovative food and wellness/exercise-related businesses to startup and expand. Businesses benefit from shared common areas, on-site technical assistance, one-to-one business counseling, access to resources, peer mentoring and the synergy of co-locating with like-minded people. The center welcomed its first tenant in 2010 and today houses more than 10 food and wellness-related businesses which employ at least 45 people. Businesses include Kickapoo Coffee, LuSa Organics, Driftless Co-Option, EZ Farming, Sole Expressions Dance Studio Cooperative and the Gleaned Food Project. Tenant Fifth Season Cooperative provides coordination infrastructure by moving local foods and value-added food products to institutional markets through Reinhart Food Service distribution. Businesses such as Wisco Pop, Scoville Unlimited and Fizzeology create value-added food products in the two commercial kitchens that are available on a scheduled basis. - Gays Mills, WI- The Village of Gays Mills, population of about 600, suffered through significant flooding of the Kickapoo River in 2007 and 2008 that led to the loss of 40 homes. The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities that are impacted by natural disasters get on a path to economic recovery. The $4.3 million grant to the Village of Gays Mills and the Redevelopment Authority of Gays Mills to help move local businesses out of the floodplain by developing three new business centers will strengthen the local economy and foster long-term business growth as well as ensuring continued distribution from their extensive apple orchards. - Cashton, WI – In 2010, The Village of La Farge, Vernon County received a grant of $990,286 to make infrastructure improvements needed to support the region’s emerging organic agribusiness industry. The project is expected to create 40 jobs and generate $4.6 million in private investment. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) investment will help build a roadway extension, street lights, and sanitary, storm and water mains to serve a facility being built by Organic Valley Family of Farms to serve as the national headquarters. The food distribution center of this national co-operative is located nearby in Cashton, WI. Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative and a national leader in the organic foods industry. Wednesday, April 22 - University of Wisconsin – Madison - It is a public institution founded in 1848. In the 2014 QS World University Rankings, UW was ranked 37th in the world and received five excellence stars. It was ranked 24th among world universities and 18th among universities in the Americas in Shanghai Jiao Tong University's 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, which assesses academic and research performance. In the G-factor International University Ranking of 2006, which is a re-analysis of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University data, the UW–Madison was listed 13th. The Times Higher Education Supplement placed it 27th worldwide, based primarily on surveys administered to students, faculty, and recruiters. UW–Madison ranks fourth in the country as measured by dollars spent on research at U.S. universities (National Science Foundation, 2013); 13th among public institutions in U.S. News & World
  • 7. 7 | P a g e Report’s 2015 edition of America’s Best Colleges; 11th best public institution (Forbes 2014); Second “most-influential” university in higher education social media (Klout.com, 2011). - Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP)- MadREP was established in 2007 under the original name of Thrive, Inc. In 2013, MadREP began implementation of the five-year Advance Now Strategy for economic growth, which served as an impetus for a re-branding to Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP). The Madison Region includes the south central Wisconsin counties of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk. MadREP is an investment-driven Economic Development Organization (EDO), is 80% privately funded, and is one of nine regional EDOs in the State of Wisconsin. More information is available at http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=www.madisonregion.org - University Research Park- Established in 1984, University Research Park, a University of Wisconsin- Madison affiliate, is an internationally recognized research and technology park that supports early- stage, and growth-oriented businesses in a range of sectors, including engineering, computational and life sciences. URP2, an extension of URP, is a commercial and residential “New Urbanist” development that aims for environmentally friendly, walkable neighborhoods where people can live and work. URP and URP2 are in the business of building capital. For 30 years, University Research Park has fostered the social, human, and technological capital needed to create growth, career, and technology opportunities for Wisconsin and beyond. It contributes more than $825 million to Wisconsin’s economy each year, according to a study conducted by NorthStar Economics Inc., of Madison. The study also found that the Park supports nearly 9,300 jobs statewide, and generates $43 million in state and local tax revenue each year. -Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery – The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is a transdisciplinary research institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison that explores information — from cells to societies — across disciplines at the interfaces of research, education and business. They construct networks to spark synergy and discoveries among our diverse community — whether it’s video games developers creating games with neuroscientists, dancers conveying science through motion, humanists hacking literary texts, business professionals exchanging insights with researchers or cartoonists exploring the roots of creativity across disciplines. Housing the Town Center which provides more structured outreach programs and workshops offer participants the opportunity to connect with scientific topics ranging from regenerative biology to rapid prototyping and the Morgridge Institute for Research, which is an interdisciplinary research center and a collaborative hub that enables investigators to address and answer fundamental biomedical questions. - Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research - The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR) is located within a licensed, operating dairy plant on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, to develop and test dairy products .The facilities including a cheese pilot plant, dairy ingredients pilot plant, sensory lab, an analytical lab and an applications lab are available for CDR partner trial runs and testing. CDR is continuing to grow and as we move forward with our building campaign, we will be expanding our facilities and offerings based on client needs. In 2014 alone, in the area of whey products, CDR staff participated in 3 USDEC trade missions to South Korea & China, promoting the benefits of U.S. dairy ingredients. CDR staff also participated in two reverse trade missions where food company representatives from Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia traveled to Chicago to learn about
  • 8. 8 | P a g e the use of U.S. dairy ingredients. With respect to cheese, the CDR hosted two one-day Cheese 101 training courses for USDEC reverse trade missions from Middle East foodservice operators and Korean pizza chains; and lectured at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture’s (DATCP) sponsored reversed trade mission visit from a Chinese buyers group. CDR also hosts numerous international visitors each year to learn about CDR's ongoing dairy product research and applications work. - Epic Systems- Epic is a privately held health care software company founded in 1979 by Judith R. Faulkner. Its systems are installed in major hospitals, and hold the medical records of 54% of patients in the U.S. and 2.5% of patients worldwide. Originally headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, Epic moved its headquarters to a campus nearby Verona, Wisconsin in 2005 where it now employs more than 8,000 people. In 2015 it plans the fifth phase of expansion with five new buildings, each planned to be around 100,000 square feet. Epic's market focus is large health care organizations. Epic offers an integrated suite of health care software centered on a cache database provided by InterSystems. Thursday, April 23 - Milwaukee Water Council and the Global Water Center- The Water Council's Mission is to align the regional freshwater research community and water-related industries to establish the Milwaukee region as the World Water Hub for water research, economic development, and education. The Water Council was formed in 2007 out of a meeting of 60 Milwaukee area professionals, business leaders and educators who were all deeply interested in the potential for creating a single entity to represent Milwaukee’s water technology cluster. The goal was to gain recognition as a World Water Hub. Today The Water Council is convening the region's existing water companies and research clusters, developing education programs to train our talent, and building partnerships that cut across all sectors and geographic boundaries. The Water Council consists of over 170 corporate members that encompass the entire water cycle, as well as support and professional service providers, that span the region, nation and entire globe. - University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Foundation Innovation Campus - Milwaukee County Research Park Corporation (MCRPC) develops and manages a research and technology park for start-up technology-based companies in Wauwatosa. Its park includes a technology business incubator that provides space for companies in information technologies, medical and biotechnology, electronic equipment, industrial automation, engineering, composite materials, and other technologies. Innovation Campus includes a business accelerator that has provided science-related services to local entrepreneurs. The site is also hosting the headquarters of ABB Inc., a company specializing in power and automation services. - Century City New Development, Milwaukee, WI - The Department of Natural Resources, City of Milwaukee, and 30th Street Industrial Corridor Corporation partnered to transform properties in the “Corridor”, a blighted area, into productive parcels of land for industrial, commercial, residential or mixed uses. Century City, Milwaukee, Wisconsin represents the core component of the Corridor's revitalization, starting with an $800,000 grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency to reclaim brownfields. With a $1M grant from the EDA, Century City will be a high-quality, market ready, modern business park that is anticipated to attract new businesses and jobs, focus private reinvestment in the area, while improving surrounding land uses.
  • 9. 9 | P a g e - M-WERC - The Midwest Energy Research Consortium, founded in 2009, represents one of America’s largest clusters of energy, power and control companies, educational and research institutions, and other key industry stakeholders. Located in the heart of the Midwest region, M-WERC acts as a catalyst for the growth of these companies and industries, through technology innovation, advanced research, market development, information sharing, workforce development and strategic collaboration. M-WERC connects and synchronizes the region’s expansive industry, collaborative and academic assets in a highly synergistic manner. Through its industry and technology roadmapping, advanced research and development and public policy efforts, M-WERC expects to help the consortium to achieve national leadership in technology, resulting in growth of sales and employment. The Consortium consists of over 80 nationally and internationally recognized industrial members and academic Institutions. M-WERC’s industrial members represent over 50% of the region’s 100,000-person workforce engaged in energy, power and controls. These businesses include industry giants such as Johnson Controls, Rockwell Automation, Briggs and Stratton, American Transmission Company, S&C Electric Regal Beloit, AO Smith, Kohler Power Systems, and DRS Power and Control Technologies. Our Academic membership features four of the largest universities in the region, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, Marquette University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Region’s largest Technical Colleges are also active in the Consortium including Milwaukee Area Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College, Lakeshore Technical College and Gateway Technical College. - The Historic Third Ward - The Historic Third Ward is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Milwaukee's oldest center of commerce and warehousing. The Third Ward is home to over 500 businesses and maintains an unparalleled position within the retail and professional service community as Milwaukee's showcase mixed-use district. The neighborhood's renaissance is anchored by many extraordinary shops, restaurants, art galleries, theatre groups, dance companies, photographers, advertising agencies and graphic artists. Over 6,000 employees work within a 60 block area, which is only two-thirds developed. There has also been a large growth of residential units; starting with 125 units in 1995, there are now over 1200 units. The Historic Third Ward has become the hub for artistic activity and exhibition within Milwaukee and is currently home to more than 27 galleries and art studios, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), and the Broadway Theatre Center, which houses the world-renowned Skylight Opera Theatre and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Four years ago the association began co-sponsoring the premier quarterly art event Gallery Night and Day, which attracts over 5,000 people four times a year to our neighborhood. To date, there has been about $25 million of public investment which has generated over $250 million in private investment. Over the last 20 years, property values have climbed from $1 to $40 per square foot for unimproved buildings, rental rates for commercial space have gone from $1.50 to as high as $20 per square foot and the assessed value of the Third Ward as gone from $40 to $531 million. Milwaukee 7- The Milwaukee 7, launched in September 2005, was formed to create a regional, cooperative economic development platform for the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha. Its mission is to attract, retain and grow diverse businesses and talent. Together, these seven counties have a wealth of corporate headquarters, a pool of highly skilled workers and world-class amenities. Competing as a region broadens our range of choices and opportunities and gives us the competitive edge that we need,
  • 10. 10 | P a g e today, and into the future. The Milwaukee 7 continues to build the region's capacity and accelerate economic growth. Through its work, more than 5,700 jobs have been created or retained in the region, with an impact of more than $300 million in direct payroll and $800 million in capital investment. The Milwaukee 7 has also leveraged millions of dollars in federal earmarks, state assistance and other municipal investments for business projects that make the Milwaukee Region stronger and a more attractive place to do business. Friday, April 24 - Chicago - Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—approximately $532 billion according to 2010 estimates. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States due to its high level of diversification. Chicago was named the fourth most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. In 2009 Chicago placed 9th on the UBS list of the world's richest cities. The city of Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies. - Argonne National Laboratory - The Advanced Photon Source (APS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory is one of the most technologically complex machines in the world. This premier national research facility provides the brightest high-energy X-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere to more than 6,000 scientists each year from every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and countries in the world. These scientists come to the APS from academia, industry, medical schools, and other institutions to carry out research that promises new discoveries in nearly every scientific discipline, from materials science to life science; chemistry; environmental, geological, and planetary science; and physics. The X-ray beams provided by this remarkable facility enable the collection of data in unprecedented detail and in amazingly short time frames. The knowledge these researchers gain here is having a real and positive impact on our technologies, our health, our economy, and our fundamental understanding of the materials that make up our world. - UI Labs and the National Digital Manufacturing Institute - Chicago-based UI LABS was awarded $70 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to fund the Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). This award is leveraged by commitments of approximately $250 million from industry, academic, government and community partners. The DMDII is the nation’s flagship research institute for applying cutting-edge digital technologies to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthen the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain, and reduce acquisition costs for DoD. The DMDII will both develop and demonstrate digital manufacturing technologies and deploy and commercialize these technologies across key manufacturing industries. UI LABS is a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative, bringing Universities, Industry and Government together to define problems, design partnerships and deliver scalable solutions to tomorrow’s most important challenges. UI LABS unites Universities, Industry and Government to solve complex challenges no one sector or player could address on their own. We break down the barriers between stakeholders and provide a neutral platform for collaboration, curating unique and diverse partnerships. - University of Illinois Super Computer - Blue Waters is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and is the fastest supercomputer on a university campus. Scientists and engineers across the country use the computing and data power of Blue Waters to tackle a wide range of challenging
  • 11. 11 | P a g e problems, from predicting the behavior of complex biological systems to simulating the evolution of the cosmos. - University Technology Park at IIT - The University Technology Park at IIT (UTP) is Illinois’ and Chicago’s premier location for established and start-up technology companies to grow and thrive. UTP is more than just a space to work. The high-tech companies at UTP benefit from unparalleled access to like- minded entrepreneurs and researchers, IIT’s high-caliber student work force, funding assistance and the full range of sophisticated equipment and instrumentation on IIT’s campus including business services (funding, faculty advising, entrepreneurship guidance, and research assistance); outside resources that have strong partnerships with UTP and provide funding and support for science and technology businesses in Illinois and Chicago; and conference space available for meetings and presentations. Analytical equipment tenants have substantial resources at their fingertips, a benefit of IIT's prominence as a science and engineering research-driven university. 5. Hotel and estimated budget Total estimated hotel costs for the entire ACE trip from 19-24 April 2015 is: $850 including tax. Kindly note that participants will be responsible for arranging their own hotel reservations and paying for their accommodations at ACE selected hotels. Detailed information will be circulated to selected participants. 6. Dress Code Business or business casual, depending on the site visits scheduled for the day. This will be confirmed closer to the date of the activity. 7. Transportation The program organizers will arrange local transportation throughout the visit. This means transportation by bus from site to site and between different cities. Applicants will cover their airfare and the transportation to and from the airport. 8. Financial support Partial economic assistance may be available for qualified nominated participants who request support, particularly from smaller economies. In order to be considered for partial financial support, please complete the application form (ANNEX I) and provide an additional brief letter requesting assistance. Kindly submit the application form and the letter to abonilla@oas.org and leann.tagwerker@trade.gov
  • 12. 12 | P a g e Financial support for this activity is provided by the Government of the United States and the Government of Canada through its Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). 9. Meals Various meals are provided by the organizers but participants will cover other meals and miscellaneous items. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions and/or allergies in your application so we can do our best to accommodate meal preferences whenever possible. 10. Electricity Electric power is standardized in all states across the USA. It is set at 110 Volts and 60 cycles. Standard electric plugs have two flat blades. The plugs on some newer appliances have a third round grounding pin. Almost all homes and commercial buildings are equipped with electrical receptacles that can accommodate either type of plug. 11. Visa Information can be found at the following link: www.immigrationdirect.com/foreign-entry-requirements-USA.jsp?gclid=CN_WydyX- bwCFQfNOgodc0AAOQ 12. Contact information Adriana Bonilla Americas Competitiveness Forum Coordinator Inter-American Competitiveness Network Technical Secretariat Department of Economic Development Executive Secretariat for Integral Development Organization of American States abonilla@oas.org LeAnn Tagwerker Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce leann.tagwerker@trade.gov
  • 13. 13 | P a g e ANNEX I - APPLICATION FORM The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Sunday, April 19 – Friday, April 24, 2015, United States Candidates need to fill out this application form electronically in English, sign it, and send it scanned no later than Friday, March 6, 2015 to Adriana Bonilla at abonilla@oas.org and LeAnn Tagwerker at leann.tagwerker@trade.gov 1. Personal information a. Last name: b. Middle name (if applicable): c. First name: d. Sex (m/f): e. Current nationality (ies): f. Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd): g. Place of birth (city, province, country): h. Passport #: i. Passport issue city: j. Passport expiration date: 2. Profile a. Current title/position: b. Describe your current position (max. 200 words): c. Please attach resume/cv with the application 3. Interest in the tour a. What are your expectations for participating in this Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship? (max. 100 words) b. Why would you like to participate in the ACE? Is there any specific site (s) of particular interest? Please refer to the site visits listed in the point 4 of this information bulletin (max. 100 words) c. How can you and your country benefit from the site visits? How can the site host benefit from your participation? (max. 100 words) d. Explain how you have authorized and/or allocated resources, proposed and adopted key policies, or possessed the necessary connections to advance economic development priorities within your country
  • 14. 14 | P a g e and/or in collaboration with other countries (max. 100 words) e. How are you planning to disseminate the knowledge and lessons learned from this trip so it can be useful for others? Please describe (max. 100 words) 4. Reasonable accommodation a. Please list any health conditions we should be aware of in case of an emergency. b. Do you require reasonable accommodation for any medical conditions or disabilities? Please describe. c. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions and/or allergies. d. Please include information for an Emergency Contact. 5. Social Media a. Please list your personal Twitter/Facebook account and/or the Twitter/Facebook account of your organization, if available. Tour requirements Applicants should: a. Have academic and professional background that facilitates inter and intra country based development such as foreign direct investment, trade, exports, supply chain linkages, shared technology, etc. b. Should be able to authorize and/or allocate resources, propose and adopt key policies, and/or possess the necessary connections to make identified priorities and actions possible within their country and in collaboration with other countries. c. Be fluent in English d. Have a valid visa (If necessary) to enter the United States e. Provide visa, passport, and other necessary information to complete travel procedures I ____________________________ declare that the information provided is true and correct and I meet with all of the requirements to participate during The Third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to take place from April 19 to April 24, 2015 in the United States.