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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Talent and Universities

April 22, 2015

Perhaps nothing encapsulates San Diego’s mix of innovation and lifestyle more than the surfboard pictured below. Let us explain…

Although it looks like any other surfboard, it’s actually made from algae, instead of petroleum-based polyurethane which is typically found in surfboards. We have Stephen Mayfield, a scientist from UC San Diego and director of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology, to thank for that. Like quite a few San Diegans, he can call himself both a scientist and a surfer.

Mayfield is featured in “National Geographic Channel’s: World’s Smart Cities” documentary about San Diego, which premiered last night at San Diego Symphony Hall.  Following the documentary, Mayfield presented the world’s first algae-based surfboard to Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Surfing legend and San Diego local Rob Machado, who also appeared in the documentary, was on hand to help present the surfboard. In the documentary, Mayfield talks about industry/academic collaborations that are helping to make biofuels from algae a commercially viable transportation fuel in the future. 

The documentary follows San Diego’s innovation narrative as National Geographic host and Digital Nomad Andrew Evans gets his genome sequenced at Illumina, performs stem cell surgery on a penguin at SeaWorld, flies UAVS at Northrop Grumman, learns about the Smart Grid at SDG&E, checks out the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™,  part engineering lab and part art studio – all while enjoying the sites, culture and lifestyle that San Diego is known for.

Last night, Andrew Evans made the trek back to San Diego to join Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego Tourism Authority’s Joe Terzi, EDC’s Mark Cafferty and a packed house of San Diegans to show people why San Diego is the only city in North America chosen for the documentary.

"San Diego is a neat city. There's no place like it in the world," said Evans at the premiere.  

The documentary will be shown in more than 60 countries, reaching approximately 250 million households world-wide.  Make sure to tune in (or record) the documentary, which begins airing this Saturday, on the National Geographic Channel.

Spread the word. It’s time the world learns what San Diego is really about.



Follow the conversation at #Smartcities.

March 24, 2015

CSUSM 25th Anniversary Logo

This year, Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) celebrates its 25th anniversary. As the only comprehensive public university in North County, they are a major source of talent for San Diego’s dynamic companies. Together with the region’s other universities, they help ensure San Diego’s global competitiveness.

We sat down with Dr. Haynes, president of CSUSM, to hear more about how the university has evolved over the past 25 years and what’s in store for the future.

1) Tell us about CSUSM.
For many years, the University was considered North County’s best-kept secret. Not anymore – the secret is out, Cal State San Marcos is THE university to be at. With 13,000 students and growing, we are nationally considered a large university and we are regionally a high-demand, first-choice institution. CSUSM is the place where dedicated and talented faculty facilitate the success of our students—our region’s future leaders and change-makers. It’s the place where area businesses and organizations partner to foster economic growth and create real-world learning experiences for the sake of stronger communities. And it’s a place with a track record of accomplishments. CSUSM has recently received national recognition for best practices as a model employer, a diverse and military-friendly campus, and a community-engaged institution.

2) Ensuring San Diego has a steady stream of talented university grads is essential to our regional competitiveness strategy. What are some of the advantages to having your university located in San Diego?
CSUSM on collaborations with the business community CSUSM is the only public comprehensive university in North San Diego County and we take that role very seriously. Beginning in 2006, we began establishing guaranteed admission agreements with 10 regional school districts, to ensure that students are prepared for college and supported throughout their entire educational journey.We are the only university in our state with a program of this magnitude – creating a college-bound culture for some 200,000 students from across our region.

We have also placed a particular focus on serving educationally at-risk students. We have the highest per-capita numbers, within the CSU system, of student populations often excluded or overlooked by higher education, including Veterans, former foster youth and Native Americans.For the last two years, 52 percent of our graduating classes were the first in their families to obtain a four-year degree.

We are very proud that not only do the vast majority of our students come from our region, but that after graduation some 85 percent of them remain here, equipped with profession-ready skills, creative talents, global awareness and homegrown commitment to help power the regional economy. Our sister public universities in the San Diego region have important roles, each of us filing a unique niche. While CSUSM serves all types of students, we have a strong focus on underrepresented and diverse student populations and those who stay after graduation to give back to their communities and contribute to the regional economy.

3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation.   CSUSM is very engaged with many of them. Pick a San Diego-area company that’s at the top of its game.
One dynamic company and CSUSM corporate partner that comes to mind is ViaSat, a communication company located in Carlsbad.

Because it is always looking with an eye toward the future, ViaSat has been an invaluable CSUSM champion, providing support and expertise across campus to develop our students and provide real-world learning opportunities. Just to name a few examples:  They support our on-campus Summer Scholars program, which actively engages undergraduates in hands-on STEM research through a 10-week program; they provide multiple internship opportunities to our undergraduate students; and they sponsor events across campus, such as our recent Super STEM Saturday, a celebration of innovation and science education designed to expose and engage kids of all ages, and their families, to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Several of ViaSat’s senior leaders volunteer their time and expertise on multiple college advisory boards, and ViaSat’s President and COO, Rick Baldridge even offered leadership advice and insight into the company and his career path by speaking at “In the Executive’s Chair” – a business course where students hear and learn from regional business leaders. The company’s leadership and input was also invaluable as we developed our new Cybersecurity Professional Master’s Degree.

4) What do you anticipate for the CSUSM in the next 5 years? What do you anticipate for the San Diego region?
For 25 years, there has been great synergy between the University and our region. We have literally grown up together, coming of age as we have helped create, and were fed and nurtured by, regional businesses, organizations, schools, neighborhoods and cities.  Moving forward over the next five years and beyond, we will continue to drive forward as a place of community engagement, a place for academic excellence and research, and a place for welcoming and stimulating environments supporting the success of the rich diversity of students we serve.

We know that the San Diego region will continue to have workforce needs in multiple areas, including the life sciences, healthcare and information and communication technologies.  To meet these demands we continue to survey key stakeholders in multiple business and nonprofit sectors to learn about their expectations and create innovative degree and certificate programs to fill those needs.  Among these are new or planned programs such as our master’s degree program in public health and health information management; stackable certificates, potentially leading to master’s degrees, in international business, business intelligence, tourism and hospitality; and professional master’s degrees in cybersecurity and biotechnology.  Efforts like these are part of our commitment to ensure that our students graduate career-ready to serve the needs of our region.

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March 20, 2015

Strong Workforce TownhallA businessman, an educator and a politician walk into a room.

There’s no punchline here. In many other regions – that don’t count collaboration as a strength – this may be the beginning of a counterproductive encounter. In San Diego, this is how we find solutions. At the Strong Workforce Town Hall held at Illumina on Wednesday, business people, educators, economic and workforce development professionals, and politicians gathered to address how the region will close the impending skills gap.

California Community Colleges play a vital role in preparing workers for jobs and strengthening the economy. Wednesday’s conversation was part of a series of ‘town hall’ style meetings held throughout the state to help California’s dynamic community college system close the skills gap.

The facts are alarming: by 2020, there will be 6.3 million job openings in the state of California. If we want to remain a center for innovation, we must have the workforce to get us there.

So how do you prepare the 2.1 million students in California for tomorrow’s workforce?

Strong Workforce Townhall

 

Sunny Cooke, president of Mira Costa College and chair of the State’s Strong Workforce Task Force, said we must rethink the three fundamental ‘R’s:

  1. Relationships: Perhaps the most crucial component, the community colleges must develop stronger relationships with employers.  Rick Urban, COO at Quality Control Manufacturing in Santee, said that his business depends on having, strong, skilled workers. With the help of East County EDC and coordination with community colleges, he was able to develop a pipeline to recruit and train technical talent.

    Up in Oceanside, Genentech seeks to work with the community colleges to find the medical device manufacturing and R&D talent it needs to succeed. "We need an agile and flexible workforce,” said Adria Harris, an HR representative at the company. The good news is lawmakers are already beginning to adapt. A pilot program will give community colleges throughout the state the opportunity to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in select programs next year. Based on workforce needs, Mira Costa College was recently approved to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in bio-manufacturing.
     
  1. Resources: Financial resources are always going to be an issue. As a state (and region), we must get creative with how we fund these crucial job training programs. It’s not only about identifying new resources, but also figuring out how to redirect resources that make sense for industries – such as maritime and biotech – that have a strong presence in the region.
     
  1. Re-thinking the Rules: As a state-run agency, bureaucracy will always be a part of the community college system. However, Cooke encouraged administrators and policy makers to think creatively about these regulations.

San Diego’s  – and California’s – leaders must work in earnest to find, develop, and enhance our workforce pipeline. As California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris says, “our global competitiveness depends on it.”

All pictures are courtesy of the San Diego Workforce Partnership

February 4, 2015

Leading up to San Diego’s Global Summit on March 11, we’ll be giving a rundown of some panelists, guest speakers and programs involved in the Summit every Wednesday.

UCSD Picture

From launching the region’s first biotech company in 1978 to creating companies which continue to drive the region’s innovation economy, UC San Diego elevates San Diego’s global profile. They have been ranked in the top 20 universities in the world.

“With more than $3.8 billion in total revenues, and over 650 companies launched by UC San Diego alumni, faculty and staff, UC San Diego is an economic engine that helps to drive the future of our region,” said Dr. Pradeep Khosla, chancellor at UC San Diego.

UC San Diego’s impact on the region cannot be overstated. It accounts for more than 60 percent of all bio-related degrees conferred from regional institutions. Its researchers attract more than $1 billion in funding to cure diseases and create some of the most innovative healthcare solutions. Each of these contributes a tremendous amount to San Diego’s rank nationally as one of the top biotech regions.

It doesn’t stop at the biotech industry. UC San Diego’s engineering program ranks 14th in the nation and 18th in the world. According to UC San Diego, startup companies created out of the university reported more than $31.6 billion in annual sales in 2012-2013.

How do these thousands of students from UC San Diego and the region’s institutions contribute to San Diego’s global profile?

When you look at the top 20 most populous metropolitan regions in the nation, San Diego ranks 2nd in percent of college grads with STEM degrees, 5th in percent of population with a doctorate degree or higher, and 3rd in the world in patents per million residents, San Diego stands tall as one of the premier destinations for innovative companies to locate and expand their footprint.

Businesses from around the nation and world continue to want to locate in San Diego because of the incredible talent funneled out of the region’s institutions. More than 200,000 students currently study at the region’s world-renowned institutions. These students go on to start their own businesses or work for some of the most creative and disruptive companies the world has seen.

UC San Diego, especially Dean Peter Cowhey and his staff at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, has been an integral partner since the beginning. It assisted in the development of the original Global San Diego Export Plan, released early 2014, and the global trade and investment plan to be released on March 11. Its students and staff assessed the region’s export market and dug deep into the region’s foreign direct investment dollars and jobs supported by foreign firms.

At San Diego’s Global Summit on March 11, Chancellor Khosla will join other community leaders to discuss San Diego’s competitiveness when attracting the smartest and most inventive individuals on the planet.

More information on March 11 is available here.

 


Join us as we formally launch San Diego's Global Summit, a global competitiveness initiative, on March 11. Subscribe here to receive new posts every Wednesday on this topic.

 

January 14, 2015
The post below is part of an on-going series leading up to San Diego's Global Summit, a global competitiveness initiative EDC will formally launch on March 11. Subscribe here to receive new posts every Wednesday on this topic.
 
A revolution is stirring in America. Like all great revolutions, one starts with a simple but profound truth: Cities and metropolitan areas are the engines of economic prosperity and social transformation in the United States.” – Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, The Metropolitan Revolution
 
The Great Recession had profound impacts on the national economy: businesses closed; unemployment increased; homes were liquidated. The U.S. experienced the repercussions of taking on large debt and focusing on consumption rather than production, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

metro revolutaion

Enter Bruce Katz.  
Katz wrote The Metropolitan Revolution as a response to the inaction of the federal government to move the national economy in the right direction. Metropolitan regions, Katz argues, will drive the future growth and prosperity of the U.S. economy, not the federal government.
 
The top 100 metropolitan regions of the United States hold only 12 percent of the total land mass but they account for more than 66 percent of the nation’s population. With this high concentration of people, these economic powerhouses account for 75 percent of the entire country’s GDP, and 78 percent the nation’s patents - a sign of regions' innovative power. 

 

Top 100 metros

Credit: The Brookings Institute 

Putting words into action, Katz and his team at the Metropolitan Policy Program launched the Global Cities Initiative, a five-year project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase aimed at helping the leaders of metropolitan areas strengthen their regional economies by becoming more competitive in the global marketplace.

On March 11, EDC and partners will publicly launch San Diego's Global Summit presented by JP Morgan Chase with Katz by our side. Katz will be keynoting the event , where he will discuss San Diego’s – and other metros’ – strength in the global economy. In particular, his keynote will discuss San Diego's ability to innovate and adapt to world-changing events and grow its economy.

More information about San Diego's Global Summit on March 11 is available here.

Leading up to March 11, we’ll be giving a rundown of some panelists, guest speakers and programs involved in San Diego's Global Summit every Wednesday on our blog.

Next week: where does San Diego stack up when it comes to its ranking in the national economy? Here’s a hint:  We’re 17th in GDP and population, but 61st in export intensity. As a region,we have the opportunity to change this.

November 14, 2014

GlobalCitiesInitiative

As part of San Diego Regional EDC’s work to increase the region’s global competitiveness, a delegation of San Diegans will head to Munich, Germany next week to explore innovation strategies to strengthen advanced manufacturing. Representing a mix of academia, industry, and business organizations, the delegation will tour some of Munich’s most innovative companies, including BMW and Siemens, and meet with German leaders including the Honorable Dieter Reiter, Mayor of Munich.

Germany – where manufacturing represents nearly twice the share of employment as in the United States – offers an illustrative model for industry growth and workforce development. Its manufacturing firms rely on a robust dual model of vocational education and on-the-job training to sustain a highly-trained workforce and powerful public-private collaborations to support continuous innovation.

San Diego – much like Munich – has the talent, innovation and vision to compete and lead in the global marketplace,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC, one of the delegates on the trip. “Both San Diego and Munich have harnessed the power of public/private collaboration to fuel economic growth. Our trip to Munich will help us advance our local innovation economy.

Cafferty will be joined by Monique Rodriguez, director of government affairs, Qualcomm, Inc.; Ian Wendlandt, chief of staff, Stone Brewing Company; and Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of extension at UC San Diego.

In addition to stops at BMW and Siemens, the agenda also includes tours at small and medium-sized manufacturers. Delegates will also engage in panel discussions centered around manufacturing and innovation featuring the Hon. John Emerson, U.S. Ambassador to Germany and Bruce Katz, co-director of the Global Cities Initiative among others. Representatives from Chicago, Louisville-Lexington, Nashville, Phoenix and Portland will also be joining the trip.

The City of Munich plays an important role in San Diego’s global competitiveness. Munich is the region’s sixth largest source of foreign investment; companies with Munich-based operations employ 1,222 people in San Diego. From an industry standpoint, Munich and San Diego excel in cleantech, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, information and communication technologies and other innovative fields.

The trip is part of San Diego’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint effort between the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that aims to help cities and metropolitans enhance their global competitiveness. San Diego joined GCI in 2012.

JPMorgan Chase has a longstanding commitment to helping cities thrive,” said Peter Kaldes, head of the Global Cities Initiative at JPMorgan Chase, who will be joining the trip. “We are thrilled to bring together U.S. and German city leaders who we hope will forge new economic bonds and, in the process, help their cities grow.”

In April 2014, as part of the GCI, San Diego was one of six U.S. cities selected to participate in a pilot program to develop a foreign direct investment (FDI) plan. A jobs generator, foreign-owned companies employ nearly 50,000 workers in San Diego, paying above average U.S. wages.                                                                                

In early 2015, the GCI will convene in San Diego to launch a comprehensive global trade and investment plan. 

October 24, 2014

Across the globe, cities are forging a new kind of battle. They are competing for talent.

Metros understand that it’s talent, more than any other factor, that will drive business location decisions. If they want to grow their economy, they need to grow their talent pool first.

A new study from the City Observatory, “The Young and the Restless and the Nation’s Cities,” takes an in-depth look at the migration patterns of the young, educated millennial population (age 25-34) in cities since 2000. Young workers – especially those with bachelor’s degrees – are the most mobile subset of the American workforce. They are not just looking for any job; they are looking for a job in a city where they can envision building a life and a career.

The report reads, “We’ve witnessed an inversion of the classic recipe for economic development: it used to be that people moved to where the businesses were. Now, increasingly, it is businesses that look to expand in locations where there is an abundance of talent, especially young, well-educated workers.”

So the brings us to our next question – exactly where does San Diego stack up when it comes to its ability to attract talent? Here’s what the report tells us:

  • Between 2000 - 2010, there was a 91 percent increase in the number of 25-34 year olds that reside in close-in neighborhoods in San Diego. Close-in neighborhoods are defined as those within three miles of the center of the central business district of each metropolitan area.
  • San Diego saw disproportionately larger increases in well-educated young adults than the overall population. There was a 43 percent increase from 2002-2012 in terms of the number of 25-34 year olds that hold four-year degrees. To put it in comparison, the overall U.S. average grew by slightly more than 25 percent.
  • Cities and entrepreneurship go together. Venture capital investment appears to be increasingly flowing to startup firms located in urban settings. The urban share of venture capital in San Diego is above 80 percent.

The numbers speak for themselves: San Diego is doing well when it comes to attracting educated talent between the ages of 25-34. But we must not take this for granted. If the region wants to continue to be known for innovation, we must ensure we are attracting the right people to the region.

With the help of many partners, EDC currently has a multi-faceted global identity program underway to ensure that we continue to lead the pack in talent attraction and retention. This represents a shift in our previous marketing efforts, which were aimed at c-level decision makers.  We will be sharing more about the program in the coming weeks. For recent analysis from EDC, please see our July and October Quarterly Snapshots, which looked deeper into San Diego's comparative advantages and challenges in the talent race. 

We know that San Diego is a magnet for talent, investment and capital – our job now is making sure that message gets to the rest of the world.

Some media outlets including The New York Times have taken a closer look at the report.

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May 20, 2014
San Diego Digital Ambassadors Everybody recognizes San Diego’s enviable weather, but one of our greatest competitive strengths lies in the people who call this place home. San Diego is full of really smart people solving hard problems, making cool things and changing lives. This is the story we need to tell.
 
So, we've gone straight to the source. The videos below are part of our broader workforce talent attraction and retention efforts. They are not branded to EDC. We encourage you to share the videos on social media using the hashtag #GoSanDiego and stay tuned for information about a new talent attraction website, vimeo channel and our digital ambassadors program.

Tweet Worthy:

  • "We were in Vegas, but we saw a huge opportunity here...so we moved our company to DT SD"
  • Why SD? "We wanted to be around companies we could collaborate with & bounce ideas off of"

In search of opportunity and quality of life, Brandisty co-founders Alex Rolek and Michael Sacca decided to move their company from Las Vegas to San Diego. What they found in San Diego is an attainable quality of life and a growing startup community that fosters collaboration. 

Meet Michael Sacca, Brandisty from GoSanDiego on Vimeo

Check out Brandisty: brandisty.com

 

Tweet Worthy:

  • "I can only see that SD's tech community is going to get bigger and better"
While at UC San Diego, David Fischer became fascinated with home brewing after exposure to the growing San Diego craft beer movement.  Back then, he had an equally fascinating internship as a developer at Qualcomm. After successfully progressing at Qualcomm, he took a job at Amazon in Irvine and commuted via train. Fast forward a few years: David learned of a job opportunity here in San Diego combining two things he loves: programming and craft beer. This is David’s story at TapHunter, one of San Diego’s many growing startups.
 

Meet David Fischer, TapHunter from GoSanDiego on Vimeo.

Check out TapHunter and download the app: TapHunter.com

 

 

 

April 15, 2014

Jacobs School Research EXPO UCSD

Capital can be a pain point for many entrepreneurs. Despite the odds, many San Diego companies have found funding. According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree report, San Diego companies were involved in 23 venture capital deals and received more than $145 million in funding in Q4 of 2013. However, for a variety of reasons, overall venture capital invested in San Diego still took a dip between 2012 and 2013.

A group of alumni of the University of California, San Diego may help change that. They have created a venture capital fund—the Triton Technology Fund—that is specifically focused on commercializing innovations by UC San Diego faculty, students and alumni. (Read the Xconomy story here.)

The Triton Technology Fund will invest in companies affiliated with UC San Diego faculty, students and alumni with innovations in the software, communications, electronics, materials, medical devices and instruments sectors. The goal is to leverage breakthroughs in these areas to provide solutions for business-to-business enterprises.

“Commercializing university research requires external expertise and investment. The Triton Technology Fund is going to accelerate the success of our innovators by injecting crucial resources into our entrepreneurism and commercialization initiatives here at the Jacobs School of Engineering and across all of UC San Diego and its alumni networks,” said Albert P. Pisano, Dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in a statement announcing the fund.

The university is a breeding ground for ideas and innovation. To date, UC San Diego faculty and alumni have been credited with forming more than 500 startup companies. Some of these innovations can be seen in action this Thursday when the Jacobs School of Engineering hosts its annual Research Expo event. UC San Diego engineering graduate students will present their latest research at the 200-strong poster session at Research Expo on Thursday April 17 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm on the UC San Diego campus. (You can scan poster titles or search by industry application area online.)

The Jacobs School of Engineering’s Research Expo, now in its 33rd year, also includes ten-minute faculty tech talks covering regenerative medicine, big data, video processing for medical applications, robotics education, wearable sensors, and aerospace safety. Registration is available onsite.

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April 8, 2014
 
San Diego is not Silicon Valley...and that's a good thing. Yes, the weather here is nicer, but that's not the only reason people come here. They come for access to resources, lower cost of living compared to other startup hubs, and of course, talent. Like many other tech founders, Stephan Goss, CEO of Zeeto Media and Jeff Brice, CEO of TrustEgg believe this so much, that they decided to locate their companies here. 
 
There is always room for improvement, but as San Diego's startup community continues to grow, so does the momentum we see to better the region. Take a look at the piece they wrote below for The Daily Transcript.
 
 

Why we chose San Diego over Silicon Valley (appeared in The Daily Transcript on April 7) by StephanGoss and Jeff Brice
It is conventional wisdom that if you want to launch a startup, Silicon Valley is the place to be. The funding, talent and resources are available in spades there. So people have flocked there hoping to become the next Facebook or Google, and some have succeeded.
 
We made a different choice. For us, San Diego was a smarter choice to launch our two businesses, Zeeto Media, an online media company, and TrustEgg, a simple venue to start online trust accounts for kids. The weather was certainly a seductive draw. It’s hard to ignore the climate and laid-back lifestyle of this Southern California city, but that is not why we are here. 
 
Read more in the Daily Transcript....

#GoSanDiego