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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


San Diego

December 17, 2018

At the end of each year, we like to look back on all the good this year brought with it. And with San Diego as our home, there's much to be thankful for - from an influx of startup growth, to top rankings and thriving educational systems. Read on below to see the top themes we saw come out of 2018.

From Team EDC, thank you for being part of our #SDlifechanging story.

Not a HQ town, but now we have these....
Qualcomm aside, San Diego is not often thought of as a headquarter town; but that doesn't mean large companies don't see value in setting up operations in the region. This year, we saw these tech heavyweights plant roots in San Diego:

  • Data analytics company Teradata relocated its headquarters to San Diego from Dayton, Ohio
  • Amazon to hire up to 350 at its new UTC campus
  • Walmart Labs opened 30,000 sqft in Carlsbad; to double tech workforce
  • WrikeCloudbeds, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals made significant investments in local expansions
  • And most recently, Apple announced it will be expanding to San Diego, supporting up to 1,000 jobs

SD leads charge in the healthcare revolution
Home to more than 1,200 life sciences companies and more than 80 research institutes, the San Diego region is on the brink of scientific breakthrough each and every day. This year, we saw Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine and Illumina set the Guinness world record for fastest genetic diagnoses in newborns; Scripps Translational Science Institute was awarded a $34+ million grant for its work in digital health; Salk scientist Janelle Ayres received $1 million to fund her microbial research; Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute identified never-before-seen DNA recombination in the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease; local biotechs PfenexSynthorx, and Trovagene went public; Illumina acquired Edico Genome and Pacific Biosciences in separate deals worth more than $2.2 billion; LunaDNA launched the first-of-its-kind platform that offers stock for DNA data; and much more #SDlifechanging work.

SD selected as national UAS testing center
With a continued commitment to growing San Diego’s reputation as a hub for innovation, the City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, and EDC announced that San Diego has been selected to participate in a new program by the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the testing of unmanned aircraft technology, grow the innovation economy, and create jobs. As part of the program, the Chula Vista Police Department has begun to deploy drones for public safety operations. Read more.

Local colleges expand, bolster talent pipeline
San Diego's educational institutions produce a top-tier talent pipeline for employers both here and abroad. And now more than ever, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, San Diego Community College District, and others are expanding programs and campuses to promote inclusion and support industry needs. This year's successes include:

  • CSU San Marcos announced the creation of its bachelor of science in computer engineering thanks to more than $1.5 million in donations from local companies and their employees
  • Mira Costa and Palomar colleges to waive tuition for all first-time, full-time students as part of California College Promise program
  • Philanthropist Denny Sanford made a landmark, $100 million gift to the National University System to expand its social emotional learning program
  • Southwestern College was awarded $325,000 in grants to fund services for veteran and undocumented students
  • San Diego City College expanded its cybersecurity program to include associate and certificate opportunities
  • With its first female president Adela de la Torre at the helm, San Diego State University is set to launch a new Big Data Analytics graduate program
  • UC San Diego received a record $75 million from computer science alum Taner Halicioğlu to grow its new data science institute

SD companies rake in big bucks for growth
Throughout 2018, San Diego saw more than 80 venture capital deals. While the number of deals is down from last year, the cash totals are record-breaking in more ways than one. San Diego companies raised more $1.8 billion (as of Q3), with the vast majority – $1.5 billion – going to healthcare companies. The region is on pace to have its best year for VC since 2000. Top deals include SamumedIdeaya Biosciences, Gossamer BioGrailHelix, and dozens more.

SD impact felt 'round the world'
A globally connected region is a more successful region, which is why its crucial that San Diego innovation is seen and felt across the world. This year, we saw this locally-made technology make impacts in key international markets:

  • Cubic Transportation Systems secured contracts to provide its mass-transit ticketing services to Queensland and Sydney, Australia, as well as other international cities
  • Inc. 5000 company Scientist.com announced its expansion into Japan as part of a WTC-led trade mission
  • Forge Therapeutics is set to double its local footprint due in part to an international deal signed during a WTC-led trade mission to the UK
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems secured an $81 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center for the UK
  • Carlsbad-based Viasat added AeromexicoFinnair, and EL AL Israel Airline to the list of international airlines it supplies with inflight Wi-Fi
  • San Marcos-based Ocean Reef Group donated its full-face dive masks used to rescue a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand

SD tops the charts
San Diego held its own in many of this year's top rankings. From the region's entrepreneurial culture to its commitment to sustainability and innovation, top-tier publications and organizations took notice of San Diego. Rankings include: 

 

December 13, 2018

Apple has announced it will be planting roots in San Diego, solidifying what we already knew about our region: San Diego is an innovative tech hub, home to some of the best and brightest talent in the world. While we're not a headquarters town, we continue to see an influx of local expansions from some of the world's largest companies. San Diego Regional EDC's official statement below:

“Joining an influx of other large tech firms like Amazon, Google and Teradata, Apple is setting up a significant operation in San Diego to take advantage of the region’s STEM talent. We look forward to building a stronger working relationship with Apple to help them grow and succeed in this already thriving tech hub.” Mark Cafferty, president & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC

August 27, 2018

Have you ever driven down the I-5 South near downtown and noticed the three large industrial buildings to your right? Do you know what happens there? That’s the U.S. Navy’s Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).

Last week, a small group of EDC board members got a behind-the-scenes tour of SPAWAR and its research lab in Point Loma SSC-Pac to answer that very question. On the tour, attendees saw firsthand some of the technology being developed and acquired by SPAWAR – technology that ranges from AI-guided cyber tools, nanosatellites, cryogenic communications, AR and VR technologies for sailors, and autonomous air, land, and water vehicles. SPAWAR directly employs nearly half of all the cybersecurity jobs (3,400) in San Diego, and its presence in San Diego is a huge contributing factor for many cyber companies to remain located in the region. It is daily responsible for the creation of advanced technologies for our country.

Additionally, attendees were provided an opportunity to learn about the U.S. Navy’s plans to explore a massive redevelopment of the SPAWAR facility that could provide the command with modern infrastructure, while acting as a catalyst for broader redevelopment in the midway area. It is rare to have a command like SPAWAR outside of the Washington D.C. beltway area and even more uncommon still for a community to have an opportunity to help such an important institution design and build a new facility.

For more information, you may access the Request for Interest via Navy Electronic Commerce Online (NECO) or Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) websites.

July 17, 2018

EDC launched the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign to attract talent and investment to San Diego by celebrating the smart and innovative people that call this place home.

Join us August 9 for a night of local food + drinks served up by celeb chef Brian Malarkey, campaign giveaways, and more to learn how we can take San Diego: Life. Changing. to the next level. We'll also hear a keynote from Dawn Barry, co-founder and president of Luna DNA, and Nate Wiger of Amazon. Stay tuned for word on another special guest..

Where: Farmer & the Seahorse | 10996 Torreyana Rd, San Diego, CA 92121 (one of the hippest spots in SD)
When: Thursday, August 9, 2018 | 5:00-8:30pm

August 11, 2017

Discover San Diego: Life. Changing. with this pocket guide full of interesting SD facts and a map illustration of the coolest companies in town!

This is the first official 'tool' - debuted last night - from EDC's San Diego: Life. Changing. Campaign. 

 

April 26, 2017

 
The world is changing – for better and for worse. In San Diego, we know we can change it for the better and enjoy life in the process.
 
It's time we took our story into our hands. We're not Silicon Valley. We're not Los Angeles. And we're not Denver, Austin or New York. We're San Diego...and there's never been a better time to own our story.
 
Introducing San Diego: Life. Changing.: a campaign about real people who have chosen San Diego and have changed the world and upgraded their lives along the way. This is #SDLifeChanging. See the details at SanDiegoLifeChanging.org.
 

San Diego: Life. Changing. from San Diego on Vimeo.

September 30, 2016

Understanding any economy starts with strong data. At EDC, we pour significant resources into research, so we can better understand San Diego's economic strengths, and even more importantly, our weaknesses.

Finding the right data to quantify our economy and understand where San Diego’s stack up with other regions is where it becomes more difficult. Many regions – including San Diego – call themselves innovative, but measuring it becomes more complicated.

In 2012, EDC joined the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project between Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, which helps metropolitan leaders grow their regional economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness. Conducting independent research has been a cornerstone of the GCI since its launch.

This week, EDC/World Trade Center San Diego staff traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in the Brookings Global Cities Summit – a culmination of five years of research and exchanges to help metros grow their economy.

Based on five years of research, Redefining Global Cities," the latest Brookings report, found that there were seven types of global cities. 

There are the Global Giants – regions like London, New York and Paris; these cities are financial hubs and serve as the control center for the world’s largest economies. Then there are the American Middleweights (Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Saint Louis, etc.) and the International Middleweights (Frankfurt, Munich, Rome, Barcelona, Toronto, etc.): connected and important mid-sized cities where post-recession growth has lagged. And then there are the Knowledge Capitals – 19 mid-sized cities throughout the U.S. and Europe that are home to talented workforces and elite research universities.

San Diego is in good company as a Knowledge Capital with Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Stockholm, Zurich and others.

Turns out, when it comes to patent intensity, San Diego is second out of 123 global cities. When we say that San Diego is innovative, it’s not just boosterism – we have the data to back it up.

As a Knowledge Capital, San Diego may attract a highly-educated workforce and high-levels of entrepreneurship, but one area where it lags is foreign direct investment. Nearly 98 percent of our economic growth is going to come from growing small and medium-sized enterprises and startups already present in the region. San Diego’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative is not just an opportunity to connect with likeminded cities; it’s an opportunity to connect with and better understand our customers. After all, our SMEs will not reach peak growth rates without expanding their businesses and finding customers outside the region. As a response to this insight, we founded the MetroConnect Initiative, a comprehensive export assistance program now in its second year.  

As a region, we’re proud to be known as a Knowledge Capital, but our work is still cut out for us. By connecting with other GCI cities, we can expedite our economic growth through careful understanding and analysis of best practices. And through insightful data and programs like MetroConnect, we’re hopeful that we’re well on our way.

June 14, 2016
This week, the Worth Group announced that San Diego has been named as a 2016 “Worth Destination.” Featured in the June/July issue of Worth magazine, San Diego is among 15 cities lauded for civic leadership, quality of life, business climate, sustainability, entrepreneurial community, cultural offerings and urban innovation.
 
After months of deliberation and research by Worth's editorial team, San Diego was chosen for its burgeoning technology and life sciences ecosystems, powerful cross-border manufacturing economy, unparalleled infrastructure and world-class cultural institutions.
 
“San Diego has long been famous for its incredible natural beauty and beautiful weather,” says Richard Bradley, Worth’s editor in chief and chief content officer. “But thanks to its close and mutually beneficial relationship with Mexico, its status as a global hub with a particular emphasis on Asia, and its world-class scientific community, San Diego is also an economic powerhouse.” “Recognition like this from a magazine as prestigious as Worth shows that San Diego’s reputation is shifting,” says Joe Terzi, President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “The city is becoming known for more than beautiful scenery. Showcasing San Diego’s innovation, creativity and strong business sector is vital not only for attracting new companies and talent to the marketplace, but it is also key for attracting top conferences and business travelers, which are a critical part of the local tourism economy.”
 
“From advancing the human genome to developing cutting-edge military technologies, San Diego is a leader in global innovation,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO at San Diego Regional EDC. “Worth provides San diego with a powerful platform to tell our story to important audiences around the world.” Focused on entrepreneurship, wealth management, philanthropy, travel and lifestyle, the Worth media brand includes print, digital, broadcast and radio channels as well as the bimonthly magazine Worth. The full list of Worth Destination cities will be announced on June 21. The June/July issue of the magazine featuring San Diego will be available on newsstands beginning June 28, 2016.
March 4, 2016

Phil Blair

Download a printable version
 

“The local economy picked up steam in January after slowing a bit toward the end of 2015 – a typical trend as seasonal, holiday jobs phase out. Key sectors like manufacturing, construction, engineering, and health care all posted outstanding figures this month. These trends are also reflected in the demand for staffing services, which posted seven percent growth in employment in January.”
Phil Blair, Executive Officer
Manpower San Diego


This post is part of an ongoing monthly series dedicated to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) monthly employment release and is brought to you by Manpower

 

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) released statewide county employment data today for the January 2016 period, as well as revisions for 2015. This month’s data shows that San Diego's labor market fundamentals remained strong, as unemployment continued to fall amid solid and steady job growth.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in January, the lowest since September 2007. The rate is down 0.1 points from the revised December number and 1.2 points from the previous year. The San Diego rate remained much lower than the statewide unemployment rate of 5.8 percent. The national unemployment rate rose substantially to 5.3 percent, well above the San Diego rate. The rate dropped in part due to a typical seasonal decline in the labor force from December to January, but the annual labor force increased by 6,100, with 16,900 fewer unemployed persons since January 2015.

Employment dropped back below 1.4 million in January, but seasonal declines are typical after the holiday season. More importantly, year-over-year employment went up by 38,200, a 2.8 percent increase. San Diego’s growth rate was again much higher than the 1.9 percent national rate. While the year-over-year growth slowed as 2015 progressed, the growth rate climbed again in January, which is a positive sign of momentum in the region.

The private sector drove employment growth in January, as private employment accounted for 90.3 percent of all employment growth over the year. The total private sector grew by 3.1 percent year-over-year, out-pacing the private U.S. growth rate of 2.2 percent.

Private growth was driven largely by service providers, but goods producers experienced another strong month. Manufacturers and construction companies drove 24.0 percent of private job growth in January. The two industries added a combined 8,300 jobs in January. The manufacturing industry in particular had a very strong month, posting 3.4 percent growth, compared to the national growth rate of 0.4 percent in the industry. Revisions showed that 2015 was an even stronger year than previously understood, with an annual 2015 growth average of 3.7 percent.


Professional, scientific, and technical (PST) services, which is strongly associated with the region’s innovation economy, slowed substantially in January, but it is unclear if there are complications with the EDD revision. Prior to the revision, the industry showed6.6 percent growth in 2015. With revisions, that growth is only 1.9 percent. It is unclear if job growth previously categorized as PST was moved to another sector like manufacturing or management, as national revised figures don't show the same dramatic shift. Architecture and engineering, a subset of PST services, showed solid growth of 5.1 percent despite the overall PST figure.

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s healthcare sector, which added 7,100 jobs and accounted for roughly one fifth of the region’s private job growth in January. Tourism experienced strong year-over-year growth, adding 5,900 jobs and contributing to 17.1 percent of growth.

In all, the January report released today showed many continued positive signs for San Diego's economy. The dramatic adjustment to PST employment raises some questions, and we will have to wait and see what was behind this revision by EDD. Otherwise, the region posted another month of solid yearly job growth, in large part due to the booming manufacturing and construction industries. Unemployment fell despite statewide and nationwide increases, and growth was spread out across a variety of key high-wage and base sectors in the region.

This report was performed with assistance from the CBRE research team in San Diego.

 

February 1, 2016
 
 
As a major win for the region’s innovation economy, today, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and San Diego Regional EDC announced that BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), the world’s largest medication management company, will be maintaining its presence in San Diego, keeping more than 3,000 jobs in the region.
 
Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said, “San Diego is now home to the single largest medication management company in the world.   I’m proud BD has committed to building upon CareFusion’s legacy in San Diego, which means that more than 3,000 locals can continue to rely on this company to help them take care of their families, put food on the table and a roof over their heads.”  
 
Bill Kozy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BD said, “San Diego is home to more BD associates than any other city in the world. The region not only offers a great place for associates to live, but it is also home to world-class health care facilities, great universities and many innovative companies that create a highly educated talent pool and opportunities for unique collaborations.”
 
Mark Cafferty, President & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC said, “BD and its 3,000 employees are staying and growing in San Diego. As a company, BD is an example of what happens when leaders collaborate and a global company continues to invest in our regional economy.”

Congressman Scott Peters said, “BD’s decision to invest their future in San Diego demonstrates the strength of our world-class innovation economy and organizations like the San Diego EDC that support it. This move also means thousands of high-quality jobs for {C}San Diego’s increasingly talented workforce. We must continue to drive economic growth and create the jobs of the future in San Diego by permanently eliminating barriers to success for our innovators and entrepreneurs like the harmful medical device tax.”
 
Panorea Avdis, Director of Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) said, “GO-Biz applauds our local partners, Mayor Faulconer’s office and San Diego Regional EDC for their work to keep BD in San Diego and we look forward to continuing to work with the company as they expand in California."
 
In 2015, BD merged with San Diego-based CareFusion, creating a $12 billion company—one of the largest medical technology companies in the world. BD has embraced San Diego and will be growing its footprint locally. As a globally-oriented company, BD has a presence in more than 80 countries, yet it currently has more employees in San Diego than any other city in the world.
 
Tapping into San Diego’s strong medical device and engineering talent, BD will be creating a new global center for health informatics on its Torrey View campus. In addition, the company will also be maintain its manufacturing capabilities in the San Diego region.
 
Since BD announced its acquisition of CareFusion in early 2015, the City of San Diego and San Diego Regional EDC have been working with BD to ensure the newly-integrated company continues to build off the strong legacy San Diego CareFusion has created.