Element Biosciences expands with EDC permitting, tax credit, branding support
ServiceEconomic Incentive Consulting
San Diego-based Element Biosciences is a high-growth biotechnology startup focusing on innovating genetic analysis tools for research and diagnostics.
As Element grew, the company needed assistance working through numerous permitting challenges, finding economic incentives to support its growth, and establishing its employer brand with top STEM talent.
ELEMENT BIOSCIENCES’ NEED
An innovator in the genomics space, San Diego-based Element Biosciences approached EDC in 2020 for support with permitting challenges. As a quickly-growing tenant of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., specifically a part of its unique GradLabs model, Element planned to build out a larger 175,000 sq. ft. space at SD Tech by Alexandria in Sorrento Valley to support its then 200-person staff, but faced challenges with 10 individual permits that each needed attention and support at the City.
EDC SOLUTION AND SUPPORT PROVIDED
EDC reached out to the City of San Diego’s Development Services and Economic Development Departments to coordinate with Alexandria Real Estate and Element—ultimately connecting the company to a dedicated project manager within the City to help the company work through its permit challenges.
As Element moved toward its expansion, EDC sent the team a curated list of economic incentive programs, including the California Competes Tax Credit. Finally, seeing its rapid growth and need for top life sciences talent, EDC produced a promotional video featuring Element CEO and Co-founder Molly He, PhD, and launched a month-long social media campaign targeting top STEM talent to help the company establish its San Diego brand.
With support from the City of San Diego, Element and Alexandria Real Estate completed the space in August 2021, and hosted an official ribbon cutting ceremony in May 2022. The new combined lab and commercial space represents a substantial investment and 280 jobs created in San Diego, with an estimated 500 total jobs and additional investment over the next three years.
From EDC’s list of incentive programs, Element also applied for and successfully won a $14 million California Competes Tax Credit in April 2022 to support its continued growth.
Finally, Element’s digital marketing campaign and video net 51,300 total impressions and 31,800 video plays by life sciences professionals who were visiting San Diego during the week of BIO 2022.
“San Diego is unmatched in its unique blend of strengths—a thriving biotech ecosystem, beautiful weather, and vibrant lifestyle. With EDC’s support, Element Biosciences has been able to maximize our expansion in San Diego and tap into the region’s rich ecosystem to fuel our innovation.”
—Molly He, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder, Element Biosciences