Foreign officials touring Milwaukee innovation centers today

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm

Milwaukee today is hosting a group of 48 high-ranking officials from 28 countries in the Americas on their tour of the Midwest.

The officials are here as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Americas Competitiveness Exchange, which focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship. The group, hosted by the DOC’s Economic Development Administration and International Trade Administration and the Organization of American States, started its tour on April 19 and will conclude its visits to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois on Saturday.

Attendees will meet and network with commerce and economic development officials, forming long-term partnerships while learning about economic development projects related to innovation and entrepreneurship. The idea is to foster commerce and trade partnerships.

While they’re here, attendees are touring the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa, as well as the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, the Global Water Center and the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences in Milwaukee. They will hear from Wauwatosa Mayor Kathleen Ehley and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, visit the Menomonee Valley, Century City and the Third Ward, and will conclude the day with networking at the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown.

“We are thrilled that the UWM Innovation Campus was chosen by our partners at the Economic Development Administration to be a part of this important international tour,” said David Gilbert, executive director of the UWM Innovation Campus. “We look forward to highlighting the many ways that the work in our Accelerator building will create jobs and economic activity for the region.”  

The group, which includes commerce, trade, innovation and policy officials from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, among others, will also stop in Madison, Lacrosse, Verona, Westby, Viroqua and Gays Mills while in Wisconsin.

“The Americas Competitiveness Exchange is a prime example of what can be achieved when government silos are broken down and agencies come together to work toward a common goal,” said Jay Williams, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. “This trip will build on the success of the previous two ACE trips in the American South and Mexico, this time showcasing the amazing work of innovators and entrepreneurs – including several EDA investments – in the Midwest.”

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