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NEXUS Innovation Initiative


Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
March 21, 2011

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The NEXUS Innovation Initiative will include a series of public-private sector partnerships that will link businesses, educators, scientists, NGOs, and local communities to develop new ideas, foster synergies, and apply solutions to improve people’s daily lives and increase shared prosperity. U.S. Embassies will work with their contacts in each country in the region to develop NEXUS Innovation strategies that leverage the reach of U.S. and regional governments along with the resources of the private sector to create jobs and promote education, science, and entrepreneurship as pathways to shared social and economic opportunity. The Initiative has the potential to reach more than 50,000 people directly and potentially 100,000 more through online and virtual mentoring programs. The secondary impact both in the region and in the United States will also be significant, through networks associated with the Initiative. It will form the basis for investment, innovation and entrepreneurship – fulfilling the President’s 2009 promise at the Summit of the Americas.

The NEXUS Innovation Initiative will incorporate a broad range of activities adapted to circumstances in each country. The program will include the following key components:

  • NEXUS Innovation Incubators: The U.S. government will work with regional governments to support centers of innovation located in the rapidly-expanding network of business incubators throughout the region.
  • NEXUS Innovation Entrepreneurs: The United States will work with regional governments and private sector partners to create a new “NEXUS Lab-to-Market” initiative that will provide each NEXUS Innovation Incubator with technical and other assistance to support entrepreneurs whose business concepts and ideas focus on energy, climate change and solutions to problems of urbanization. The goal will be to support 50 to 100 NEXUS Innovation Entrepreneurs per year in each country in the region over a four-year period for a total of 5,000 to 10,000 over four years.
  • NEXUS Innovation Internships: The U.S. government will work with public and private sector partners in each country of the region to create internship opportunities available to young people from all sectors of society but particularly focused on disadvantaged populations. These internships will be designed to provide the NEXUS Innovation Interns with real-world experiences and will help them develop their skills and networks as they seek to enter the workforce. The goal will be to develop as many as 100 internship positions per year in each country of the region.
  • NEXUS Innovation Managers: Through the International Visitor Leadership Program, the U.S. government will provide exchange opportunities to as many as 100 middle managers throughout the region to help them increase their knowledge about workplace environments that foster innovation.
  • NEXUS Innovation Network: The U.S. government will create dedicated platforms and will use social media technology to build support networks for all regional participants, linking them to their peers and colleagues in the United States and throughout the region. The U.S. government will identify U.S. business people, academics, and others who will serve as e-mentors to the NEXUS Innovation Entrepreneurs. In addition, these networks will create a forum to share public policy practices at regional and local levels that will generate ideas to advance public-private partnerships, address constraints to economic expansion, and foster dynamic growth. Total impact for the network will be more than 100,000 individuals for the first year.
  • NEXUS Innovation Scholars: The U.S. government, in partnership with regional governments and private sector enterprises and under the auspices of the Fulbright program, will fund 200 scholars whose work will focus on seeking practical solutions to real-world challenges in renewable energy, climate change, and sustainable urban growth.
  • NEXUS Innovation Young Entrepreneurs: Working through its well-established networks of Binational Centers and American Corners, the U.S. government will work with regional and local governments to launch a young entrepreneurs program. The program will provide secondary school students with an introduction to the principles of entrepreneurship and will include a region-wide business planning competition, with the winners offered trips to the United States to meet with peers and mentors. The goal will be to engage as many as 1,000 students in each country over four years for a potential impact of as many as 30,000 participants.



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