Opinion: The BIO Convention is an opportunity for the Central Life Sciences Sector to shine

RaDD building
Rendering of a planned building in the Urban Research and Development District. IQHQ courtesy

World-class biotechnology companies, investors and industry-leading talent will descend to the shores of San Diego for the first time in five years when the BIO International Convention returns directly.

As well as being a sign that we are returning to normalcy, the BIO conference demonstrates the positive impact that the growing biotechnology sector has had on the San Diego economy, as well as a transformative range of life sciences that is taking shape across the street. San Diego is poised to become the next flagship life sciences market in the United States.

According to Biocom California’s 2021 Economic Impact Report, the San Diego life sciences industry is part of a growth sector that is having a “profound impact” on our economy, employing 72,000 people and $ 27.7 billion in regional gross domestic product and $ 47.8 billion in business sales in total. Only in 2020. In addition, the report found that life sciences were responsible for nearly 178,000 jobs in San Diego County with a profit of only $ 16 billion.

With an 82% increase in life sciences staff over the past decade, San Diego is already the largest life sciences market in the United States, and is increasingly competitive with those like Boston and San Francisco. With rapid growth, San Diego is experiencing a tremendous increase in demand for new A-Class offices, lab spaces, and scalable campus sites, as it has not been able to accommodate growing progressive and progressive companies.

In response to this growing demand, construction is underway on the city’s $ 1.6 billion San Diego Research and Development District – short for RaDD – on the city’s coastline to further revitalize the region’s economy and adapt to the continued growth of the life sciences industry. In addition to the 1.7 million square feet of office space, laboratory and retail space for life sciences, the development will include a 1.5-acre green and open space that will be available to the public.

RaDD will also create tens of thousands of jobs. In fact, the project is already creating union-building jobs that are reviving the local economy and helping to drive the recovery of the pandemic. This first phase of RaDD, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will take at least 4,000 employees.

In addition to attracting new life science companies to the San Diego market that will employ a variety of local talent, the site’s retail sales and other equipment will provide additional employment opportunities. In addition, the city’s major research institutions and major institutes and universities mean that new employers will have access to an in-depth pipeline of diversified talent and resources.

We believe that biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies will continue to invest in the city center to achieve a wide range of young and diverse talent. There are more than a million millennials in San Diego, the nation’s fifth largest millennial concentration. A recent demographic study by the Downtown San Diego Partnership found that the number of people living in urban areas working in the life sciences sector has more than tripled in the last two decades.

In order to support the dynamic and growing concentration of young workers, it is essential to develop work environments that meet the changing needs and expectations of the workforce. The changes we have seen throughout the pandemic have intensified, making it clear that both tenants and talent want dynamic neighborhoods and work environments as companies return to work in person.

As noted in the Downtown Partnership study, young professionals living in the downtown area value paid jobs and access to lifestyle amenities. The ability to build more inclusive communities depends on our ability to attract people to live and work in the marketplace. Therefore, the development of major districts like RaDD will spur and drive sustainable growth in downtown San Diego, attracting major employers and employees to scalable campuses with easy access to transportation, housing, dining, and major amenities.

As more than 3,000 business people from around the world visit the streets of San Diego this week, they will see what we all know firsthand — San Diego is the main market for living, working, and playing. It has access to key talent, state-of-the-art equipment and a high quality of life.

In addition to reaping the many benefits of live and personal events, BIO participants will enjoy sharing in our coastal transformation – a transformation that will drive the vital science industry, while fostering further development, and fostering change and positive growth. Downtown San Diego.

Tracy Murphy is the president and co-founder of IQHQ. Joseph Panetta is the President and CEO of Biocom California.

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