World economic delegation to visit with researchers at UL Lafayette


Research across multiple disciplines at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will be on display Wednesday for a high-level delegation of more than 75 industry, economic development and political leaders from across the Western Hemisphere.

The UL Lafayette visit is part of the Americas Competitiveness Exchange. The state is hosting the program through April 1 with stops in multiple cities. The hope is that the ACE program will forge business relationships and explore trade and investment opportunities in Louisiana, said Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, the University’s vice president for Research, Innovation and Economic Development.

“Delegates will see firsthand and hear from our faculty about the high-quality public impact research that is conducted at our Carnegie Research 1 university. Being able to engage with this group is a wonderful opportunity to grow research partnerships within the Western Hemisphere. The University prides itself in conducting research that is both locally relevant and globally prominent,” Kolluru said.

UL Lafayette faculty will present research related to five topics: energy and sustainability; climate change; computing and security; life sciences; and human, community and economic development. Displays will be set up in the Student Union Ballroom with delegates arriving around 11 a.m.

In a press release announcing the visit, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said hosting the Americas Competitiveness Exchange “is both an extraordinary honor and a unique opportunity for Louisiana business owners, entrepreneurs, innovators and policymakers.”

“It is evidence that Louisiana’s diverse culture and economy command the attention of decision-makers from around the world seeking to learn from our example. And it raises awareness about the natural resources, infrastructure advantages and business climate that have made Louisiana a national leader in per capita foreign direct investment for the past 10 years,” Edwards said.

Thirteen ACE events have been conducted in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Israel and Chile since the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State and the Organization of American States, launched the program in 2014.

ACE Louisiana delegates – ambassadors and government officials, academics and CEOs, thought leaders and entrepreneurs from over 20 countries – will engage state and local stakeholders in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Acadiana at more than 40 separate events during the six-day tour, which began March 26.