Keeping with previous research, this study explicitly recognizes that the San Diego life sciences industry cluster has become regional in scope with close interactions among firms, universities, and research institutes across Southern California. Therefore, the study area for the research presented here covers Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial Counties, which was a groundbreaking aspect of our 2011 research. Though it examines regional effects, it is still important for local leaders and policy makers to realize that each of these component counties benefit individually from the tremendous success of the life sciences industry.
The following pages report the findings of our updated analysis of the scope and impacts of the life sciences industries and some of its most important sectors. The first section provides an economic overview of the counties and region, giving the reader a context of both the size and scope of the regional economy, wages, population growth, and education. The second moves from overarching economic trends to the life sciences industry cluster. It includes current and forecasted employment, economic impacts, and foreign trade. In particular, this section will illustrate clusters of competitiveness and degrees of specialization when compared with the United States and other regions. In addition, we will examine the linkages between key supporting industries and the life sciences cluster to gauge the economic contribution the life sciences industry is making to these industries. The third section briefly examines investment and funding trends.
The goals of the report are to provide the life science community, and those interested in it, with a clear and accurate understanding of the innovation occurring in Southern California, to measure its economic impact on the county and the region, and to offer a fair representation of future growth that can be expected.