The San Diego biotechnology cluster is among the top biotech clusters in the US. Life sciences activity accounts for more than $31.8 billion of economic impact in San Diego. According to California Life Sciences Industry 2016 Report (here), San Diego biotech cluster employed 38,061 people in 2014.
According to the 2014 JLL Life Sciences Cluster Report, San Diego life sciences industry gained $640.6 million of venture capital funding and $785.6 million of NIH funding. The region has 9.5 million square feet of lab space. The lab space will grow when sequencing giant Illumina completes its San Diego manufacturing centre which will be opened in the second quarter of 2016.
According to San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (SDREDC), the county’s life science jobs pay an average wage in excess of $80, 000 – 83% above the average pay for all jobs.
San Diego County contains three public state universities: University of California, San Diego; San Diego State University; and California State University, San Marcos. Major private universities in the county include University of San Diego (USD), Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), Alliant International University (AIU), and National University. The University of California, San Diego has become one of the top ten public universities in the country. San Diego County higher education institutions produce more than 7,000 STEM graduates annually.
Furthermore, San Diego is home to the world famous Scripps Research Institute based in La Jolla. This biomedical science research campus has given birth to many exciting spin-out companies that have forged new understanding of diseases and have created significant innovation. Many of those companies continue to sit in close proximity to the 35 acre campus and some are part of this study. The Scripps Research Institute also abuts Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.
As one of the most innovative regions in the U.S., San Diego thrives on its highly entrepreneurial environment. The established research institutions have created a powerful research cluster in the region. Its partnerships with technology-focused networks of business and professional leadership have provided essential ingredients for successful biotech start-ups.
San Diego clearly shows the characteristics of a thriving biotechnology and life sciences cluster, with science, infrastructure and capital coming together. The other critical ingredient is people and their incredible wealth of experience and skills.