Over the last 10 years, San Diego has seen an 82% increase in life science employees, and now it’s the No. 3 market for the industry.
“That is the kind of brain power most cities would love to have and that’s what’s driving the growth here in San Diego,” Schieferdecker said.
San Diego has long had strength in this area. The city is home to the Salk Institute of Biological Studies, founded by Jonas Salk, who developed the first safe and effective polio vaccine. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Scripps Research also bring biotech prowess to the area, along with pharma giants like Pfizer, which has a 25-acre campus in La Jolla. UCSD was also named the fifth best public university by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
“That is quietly powering a lot of our future as well,” Schieferdecker said. “Not a lot of people think of San Diego as a mecca for institutions.
“We also have such a strong military hub, and the navy has their cybersecurity hub here,” Schieferdecker added. “It’s a great of triad of intelligence.”
Groups in town for meetings can tap into this brain power by working with San Diego Tourism Authority for local speakers in specific industries.
“We have the ability to connect with different organizations within the community,” Schieferdecker said. “If you look at our citywide conventions of associations, 40% of those are in the medical field, and those are groups that continuously have San Diego in their rotation, and they can tap into the folks here… We are fortunate to have many different industries that attract some of the best association customers into our city