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December 20, 2017 Comments (0) Views: 195 Big Business, December 2017, Short Stories, Tip Sheet

Innovation is Big Business in San Diego

Facts and figures from around the innovation scene

What do we really mean when we talk about innovation? Actually, quite a bit. According to innovation business accelerator Connect, it refers to what’s going on in a few specific sectors: aerospace, navigation, and maritime tech; biotech and pharmaceuticals; communications; computers and electronics; environmental tech; medical devices; recreational goods manufacturing; research and development; and software. Last year, 6 percent of all San Diego companies, startups and otherwise, had something to do with those industries. Here’s a look at how the business of innovation affects the local economy.

Innovation Stacks Up

Stats from the 2016 Connect San Diego Innovation Report

$110K: Average salary of an innovation sector employee

1,729: New innovation economy jobs created

477: New innovation startups created

$55 billion: Over a quarter of San Diego’s total economic activity comes from the innovation economy

150K+: Number of people employed in the innovation sector of San Diego County’s workforce

$4.6 billion: Economic impact of San Diego’s research institutions

The tech cluster makes up over 45 percent of local innovation employees, according to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. In 2015, almost half of venture capital funding was in software and related industries. Qualcomm says the 5G mobile platform could generate $3.5 trillion in 2035.

Big Science

Stats from Biocom’s 2017 Economic Impact Report

In San Diego County:

  • Employment in the life sciences industry increased 20 percent over the past five years
  • The life sciences industry generates $34 billion annually
  • San Diego County has 1,225 life sciences establishments
  • The county received $833 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health in FY 2016
  • The average industry-wide salary is $117,253
  • City of San Diego Employment in the life sciences industry increased 22 percent over the past five years
  • The life sciences industry generates $17.5 billion annually
  • There are 757 life sciences agencies in the city
  • San Diego received $822 million in NIH research funding in FY 2016
  • The average industry-wide salary is $113,128

“San Diego has really been an amazing innovation startup vibe. The way people work together, the community, the culture.”  —Jay Chernikoff, president and CEO of startup DeskHub, to NBC 7

“It’s no secret that the innovation economy is critical to the region’s prosperity, but more importantly, innovation is the cornerstone to ensuring that San Diego keeps its place on the global stage long into the future.”  —Greg McKee, chief executive officer of Connect

“New ideas are everywhere, so engagement is key to everything we do. We want to be a strategic partner, to build meaningful relationships that will enable our students, faculty, alumni, and broader community to grow the businesses and jobs of the future.” —Paul Roben, UC San Diego associate vice chancellor for innovation and commercialization


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