Opinion: The BIO Convention is an opportunity for the brilliance of the life sciences sector in the city center

RaDD building
Depiction of a building planned in the center for research and development. Courtesy of IQHQ

Top biotech companies, investors and industry talent from around the world will land on the shores of San Diego for the first time in five years when the BIO International Convention returns live and in person this week.

In addition to serving as a sign that we are returning to normal, the BIO conference demonstrates the positive impact of the thriving biotechnology sector on San Diego’s economy, as well as the transforming life sciences district on the streets – a development that is ready to make San Diego the next iconic life science market in the United States.

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

With an 82% increase in life science staff over the past decade, San Diego is now the third largest life sciences market in the United States and increasingly competitive with boston and San Francisco. Given its rapid growth, San Diego is experiencing a dramatic increase in demand for new Class A offices, labs and scalable campus sites that can take on progressive, growing companies in a way that has not been offered before.

To meet this growing demand, construction is underway on the $ 1.6 billion San Diego R&D area – in short RaDD – on the city’s shores, which will further boost the region’s economy and meet the ongoing growth of the life science industry. In addition to the 1.7 million square feet of office, laboratory and retail space, the complex will include 1.5 acres of green, open space that will be accessible to the public.

RaDD will also create tens of thousands of jobs. In fact, the project is already creating jobs in union building, which are stimulating the local economy and helping to recover from the pandemic. This first phase of the RaDD, scheduled for completion at the end of 2023, is expected to accommodate at least 4,000 employees.

In addition to attracting new life science companies to the San Diego market, which will hire local, diverse talent, retail and other conveniences on the site will offer additional job opportunities. In addition, the city’s prominent research institutions and leading colleges and universities mean that new employers will have access to a deep chain of diverse talent and resources.

We believe that biotech, pharmaceutical and natural companies will continue to invest in the city center to gain access to expanding groups of young, diverse talent. There are over one million millennials in San Diego, which boasts the fifth highest millennial concentration in the nation. A recent demographic survey by the Downtown San Diego Partnership found that the number of downtown residents working in the life sciences sector has more than tripled in the last two decades.

To support this dynamic and growing concentration of young workers, it is crucial to develop a work environment that meets the changing needs and expectations of work. This was reinforced by the changes we saw during the pandemic, which made it clear that both tenants and talent wanted dynamic neighborhoods and a work environment while companies returned to work in person.

According to a study by the Downtown Partnership, young professionals living in the city center with high-paying jobs value walking and access to lifestyle amenities. The ability to build fuller communities depends on our ability to attract people to both live and work in the marketplace. Therefore, developing first-class neighborhoods like RaDD will drive and drive sustainable growth in downtown San Diego by attracting the best employers and employees to scalable campuses that have easy access to transportation, housing, food and the best amenities.

With 11,000 visitors from more than 3,000 companies around the world visiting and walking the streets of San Diego this week, they will see firsthand what we all know – San Diego is the best market to visit. live, work and play – it also has access to first-class talent, cutting-edge amenities and a high quality of life.

In addition to embracing the many benefits that live and personal events can offer, BIO participants will enjoy sharing the transformation of our coastal zone – a transformation that will drive the vital life sciences industry while stimulating further development and nurture positive change and growth in downtown San Diego.

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

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