Reflections on our trade mission by WTCSD’s director

Thriving Cities Trade Mission to the Netherlands

Two weeks have passed since our return from the Netherlands Trade Mission, and I continue to think back on how effectively public and private sector forces work together to develop the infrastructure for trains, busses, bicycles, cars, and even canal boats to coexist in harmony. 

After three years of pandemic-related travel limitations, it was refreshing and inspiring to hit the road again, this time with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and 29 of our region’s most influential and collaborative business, academic, political, and economic leaders. This delegation carried the San Diego banner in one of the world’s leading metros for innovation and circular urban development—the Netherlands—a country engineered out of the sea. 

Learn why the netherlands → 

We kicked off the mission by hosting the Thriving Cities Mayoral Forum, where we explored the leading role that cities play in driving circular/sustainable development with insight from Mayor Gloria, Amsterdam Mayor Halsema, and other innovation leaders from both regions.

We visited Qualcomm’s largest AI research hub outside of San Diego to celebrate its expansion, and learn about its partnership with the University of Amsterdam, QUVA, which supports a pipeline of engineering talent.  

Joined by SANDAG Chair Catherine Blakespear and leadership at San Diego’s higher education institutions, we visited TNO, the premier applied research organization of the Dutch government to see its newest tool in action—a ‘digital twin’ of a region that overlays conditions for traffic, energy usage, pollution, and more, with the option to toggle different variables to see how the conditions interact with each other.  

Our delegation then headed to ‘the smartest kilometer in Europe’ to visit Philips and ASML, the largest medical systems and technology companies in the Netherlands, respectively, that both have existing and growing operations in San Diego. 

We also brought together three Commissioners and the CEO of the Port of San Diego in the Port of Rotterdam to learn about circular and efficient operations at Europe’s busiest port and share the exciting developments we have underway on our beautiful waterfront. 

And perhaps one of the most inspiring moments of our trade mission happened on our last day, when WTCSD’s MetroConnect companies Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions pitched to Port of Rotterdam and Leiden Bio Science Park leaders, respectively, for foreign investment. 

As we settle back into life in San Diego, our delegation brings home a fresh perspective on the ways we can address challenges in critical areas such as transportation and urban development. We see more clearly than ever the value of closer collaboration between the public sector, academia, and private business. In the coming years, we hope to see engineering solutions and transformative technologies like TNO’s Digital Twin being used to aid decision-making in large public works, and large multinationals like ASML and Philips successfully growing their operations in the region. 

Most of all, we look forward to the meaningful relationships and connections built through the mission and the collaboration that will lead to smarter, stronger, more inclusive development for all, right here in San Diego.  

The trade mission is organized by WTCSD, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa, and Qualcomm Technologies.

Dankjewel,

Lucas Coleman
Lucas Coleman

Director, World Trade Center San Diego

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

San Diego small businesses pitch for Dutch investment as part of mayoral trade mission

Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions join delegation to Netherlands to drive local growth

This week, as part of Mayor Todd Gloria’s trade mission to the Netherlands, coordinated by World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of EDC, San Diego small businesses pitched their technology solutions to potential international partners and investors. Trabus Technologies (TRABUS) and Nano PharmaSolutions, both San Diego-based, minority-owned small businesses, joined this three-day trip to establish business relationships, pursue investment, and grow local jobs.

San Diego is the birthplace of many successful large, multinational companies, including Qualcomm who is represented in the delegation as well. However, small businesses—those with fewer than 100 employees—are the backbone of the regional economy and drive regional economic growth and innovation. Small businesses employ more than 60 percent of San Diego County’s workforce, nearly double the national average, and represent nearly 98 percent of the region’s firms. Yet small companies face outsize barriers to international expansion.

“Having an economy driven by small, innovative companies has been great for San Diego, and we want to support their expansion into overseas markets so they can stay strong and competitive in their industries,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “This trade mission gives us the chance to lay that groundwork for small businesses that face headwinds overseas.”

In order to drive economic resilience, Mayor Todd Gloria and WTCSD have prioritized small businesses as part of the Netherlands trade mission. TRABUS and Nano PharmaSolutions—both innovative, minority-owned small businesses involved in WTCSD’s export accelerator program MetroConnect—pitched to the Port of Rotterdam and investors at the Leiden Bio Science Park respectively:

  • TRABUS and Port of Rotterdam: TRABUS is a service-disabled, veteran- and minority-owned small business providing innovative solutions to the U.S. government and private sector. The 50-person TRABUS team specializes in the development of technology across five major portfolios—wireless technologies, artificial intelligence and data science, maritime transportation, environmental informatics and cybersecurity. To be spotlighted in its pitch to the European port, TRABUS has developed the first AI-based voyage planning software, RippleGo, for the inland waterways. While the SaaS product is currently being tested on U.S. waterways, RippleGo could have tremendous potential to enhance voyage planning and supply chain logistics on EU based waterways for greater economic efficiencies.

 “We are excited about the potential partnerships and opportunities to work with the European maritime industry. The EU has an impressive, interconnected waterway network already. We hope to learn more about their network and offer up some of our technologies that can aid in waterway management and intermodal supply chain logistics,” said Art Salindong, Managing Director, TRABUS.

  • Nano PharmaSolutions (NPS) and Leiden Bio Science Park: A platform technology startup for nanodrug delivery of small molecule drugs, NPS offers improved solubility and convenient dosage form development. Founded in 2019, the company is seeking Seed and early-stage VC investment, with plans to expand into the European market and access increased pharmaceutical customers in the years ahead. NPS plans to co-manufacture clinical trial materials for their customers at Mikart Pharmaceutical, a contract manufacturing organization in Atlanta, GA, beginning Q3 2023. Mikart is a commercial scale oral dosage form company, which can support NanoTransformer™ nano-granulation and downstream dosage form manufacturing and QC activities.

“Not only does our NanoTransformer™ technology expedite drug development at a lower R&D cost, but it helps drugs absorb into the body more quickly and efficiently” said Dr. Kay Olmstead, Founder & CEO, NPS. “This is an incredible opportunity to share our story and build partnerships at the famous Leiden Bio Science Park, and we’re excited about what’s to come.”

With the right partners, small companies that solve important problems—like TRABUS and Nano PharmaSolutions—become big companies that change the world. That has always been San Diego’s story, and it is why we work so hard to open doors for innovators and entrepreneurs both overseas and back at home,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of WTCSD and SVP, EDC.

This session is one of a dozen meetings and programs on the three-day trade mission to the Netherlands, September 26—29, 2022. See a summary of the trip here and follow along for more: #SDinNL

Learn more on SD and NL

The trade mission is organized by WTCSD, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa, and Qualcomm Technologies.

 

San Diego mayor, WTCSD visit ASML HQ in NL

A visit to ASML HQ in Veldhoven seeks to strengthen an already strong relationship between ASML and San Diego

This week, as part of Mayor Gloria’s inaugural trade mission with World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of EDC, the delegation visited ASML headquarters in Veldhoven, Netherlands.

With major operations in San Diego, and more than 35,000 staff around the globe, ASML is the most important technology company you’ve never heard of.

ASML is the leading provider of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to every major chipmaker around the world, playing an integral role in driving the global chip industry forward.

In San Diego, ASML designs, develops, and manufactures the lasers and lights sources that power its lithography machines—the systems chipmakers use to produce semiconductors featured in every piece of technology across nearly every industry.

From cell phones and life-changing medical devices, to self-driving cars and the James Webb Space Telescope, semiconductors are ubiquitously part of everyday life—and ASML represents the foundation for them all.

The company expanded its global footprint in 2012 with the acquisition of Cymer, a San Diego-based industry leader in laser sources for semiconductor equipment. In the 10 years since this acquisition, ASML San Diego has doubled its local headcount to 1,600, and counting.

Learn more about the connection between SD and NL

Follow along with us for more: #SDinNL

 

Mayor, WTCSD delegation cut ribbon on Qualcomm Amsterdam operation

Today as part of Mayor Todd Gloria’s trade mission to the Netherlands, coordinated by World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Qualcomm Technologies Netherlands B.V., cut the ribbon on Matrix One in Amsterdam. In the Amsterdam Science Park, Matrix One will serve as Qualcomm Technologies Inc.’s largest AI hub outside of the U.S.

The cornerstone of San Diego’s technology ecosystem, Qualcomm is a global leader in 5G wireless technologies. Per a 2018 report, the company supported more than 28,000 San Diego jobs and had a $4 billion local economic impact. For every job at Qualcomm, an additional 1.8 jobs were supported elsewhere in San Diego economy.

“Nearly 40 years ago, a small tech company made a commitment to this region that would shape our innovation ecosystem—and our world—as we know it,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “I’m proud to support Qualcomm’s continued growth in San Diego and around the world.”

Amsterdam Science Park is home to one of Europe’s biggest concentrations of scientific talent. The unique combination of high-quality education, pioneering research and knowledge-intensive business boosts the kind of innovation that will transform our society in the future.

“With our move into the new Matrix One building in Amsterdam Science Park, I am very happy to see us well positioned for further growth. Our highly innovative AI research in diverse topic areas and continued collaboration and co-location with the University of Amsterdam confirm us as the prime employer for AI & ML researchers and engineers in the region,” said Michael Hofmann, Director, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies Inc.

The trade mission is organized by WTCSD, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa and Qualcomm Technologies. This session is one of a dozen meetings and programs on the three-day trade mission to the Netherlands, September 26—29, 2022.

see a summary of the trip here

More on SD and NL

Mayor Todd Gloria to lead Netherlands trade mission to strengthen economic ties with EU

WORLD TRADE CENTER SAN DIEGO CONVENES REGIONAL LEADERS TO HELP SAN DIEGO BUSINESSES EXPAND GLOBALLY, CREATE LOCAL JOBS

In order to foster vital global economic partnerships, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), are leading a delegation to the Netherlands. During the September 26—29 trade mission, business and civic leaders will promote San Diego’s key industries, establish and strengthen business relationships, and explore best practices in urban mobility, climate action and sustainability, and technology and science innovation.

Against the backdrop of severe supply chain disruptions, shifting geopolitics governing the development of critical strategic technologies, and accelerating climate action and affordability mandates, San Diego leaders have made economic resilience by way of global competitiveness a top priority.                                          

“San Diego is an undeniable force in the global marketplace, and we must seize opportunities to tell our story and maximize investment from partners around the world,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “As we work to address our region’s biggest challenges—affordability, urban mobility, climate change, and more—I’m proud to join World Trade Center San Diego in the Netherlands to learn from like thriving, global cities.”

Home to Europe’s largest port and fourth busiest cargo airport, the Netherlands is a hub for global trade and business. With shared expertise in knowledge-intensive industries, including personalized medicine, wireless communications technology, and artificial intelligence, and a societal commitment to sustainability, climate action, and social innovation, the Netherlands is among the top 10 countries for foreign direct investment into San Diego (#6 in 2015—2020). Netherlands-based companies directly employ 5,000 San Diegans, predominately in the innovation economy at companies like ASML and Philips. By deal count, the Netherlands is the #9 country investing venture capital into San Diego, in line with Denmark and falling closely behind Japan, France and India (2015—2020). Further, Dutch firms invested nearly $318 million into San Diego’s economy in 2021 alone.

Learn more on the two regions

“On the heels of a pandemic that changed the world, WTCSD is grateful to be taking San Diego global once again,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and senior vice president at San Diego Regional EDC. “As the economy continues to transform around us, it is increasingly important for metro leaders to advance a compelling vision that keeps us ahead of the curve, and no one can tell the San Diego story better than Mayor Gloria and this cross-sector delegation.”

Over the three-day trade mission in cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and Leiden, San Diego will look to bolster public-private partnerships and business expansion through various sessions with Dutch companies and institutions.

Agenda items include:

  • The grand opening/ribbon cutting of Qualcomm’s AI Research Lab, which has formalized a partnership with the University of Amsterdam to support a pipeline of engineering talent.
    Read more →
  • Amid massive pressure for expansion, a meeting and tour of ASML—the global leader in semiconductor manufacturing machines (lithography)—at its Veldhoven headquarters to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its investment in its San Diego-based Cymer site.
    Read more →
  • Local, minority-owned small businesses Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions will pitch to the Port of Rotterdam and Leiden University Medical Center respectively.
    Read more →
  • Mayor-to-Mayor meetings with Todd Gloria and the Mayors of Amsterdam and Rotterdam to strengthen relationships between our regions
  • Formal meetings and tours of several companies considering investment into San Diego and California as led by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria

Delegates will participate in upwards of 15 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and driving business connectivity across many verticals. The two dozen San Diego delegates include representatives from Qualcomm, ASML, Mitsubishi Electric, Trabus Technologies, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Gafcon, Arup, HomeFed Corporation, Townshend Venture Advisors and more. Also in attendance are delegates from key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as Port of San Diego, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and others.

The trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa and Qualcomm.

 “With shared commitments to sustainability and innovation, more than 76,000 jobs in California are supported by U.S.-Netherlands trade. This trip is one example of how we can work together across borders to remain competitive in a global economy,” said Consul General Dirk Janssen, Consulate of the Netherlands in San Francisco.

Follow along with us next week during the trade mission: #SDinNL

WTCSD.org

Thank you to our Thriving Cities Trade Mission sponsors:

A note on what’s to come from our CEO

Looking ahead…

Dear Board Members, Investors, and Partners:

I truly hope this message finds you well and enjoying a wonderful summer. I also hope that you are as excited about the Padres’ recent moves as we are at EDC. Being Downtown the last several days, you can already feel the energy.

Recognizing August as a month where many people are finishing up their summer travel and families are preparing to get their children back to school, EDC historically foregoes our regularly scheduled board meeting and executive committee meeting to make sure everyone has the extra time they need. But as we gear up for the final four months of 2022, I wanted to share a bit of what’s to come—because in many ways, our team is busier than ever.

Our World Trade Center team is in the throes of planning our first international trade mission since 2019, bringing dozens of our region’s top business, community, and civic leaders (including San Diego Mayor Gloria) on a fast and furious trip to the Netherlands in late September. This trip will help us expand business, trade, and academic connections within the market while also learning from some of the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities and economies.

True to Mary Walshok’s vision, and with the help of board member Tom Turner of CBRE, we have signed a lease and will be moving into UC San Diego’s Park & Market space, an exciting new addition to the Downtown landscape that promises to “bring people together who might not otherwise have crossed paths.” The building will serve as a homebase for a collection of organizations seen as “multidisciplinary and boundary spanning”—connecting art and science, culture and technology, civic engagement, lifelong learning, etc. With a new office and a new brand identity to come, you can expect an invitation to a reception and other gatherings before year’s end. Stay tuned.

As always, we will work hard to make sure that all EDC board and committee meetings continue to embrace the moments that we are living and working through. In addition to our continued healthcare and employment law updates at our monthly board meetings, we stay committed to digging deeper into the talent, workplace, and human resources-related challenges, opportunities, and discussions that dominate our interactions with local businesses. We will also continue to balance these topics with presentations from our region’s largest, leading, and most cutting-edge businesses. And most importantly, we will work to ensure that all of these efforts continue to guide us toward meeting our 2030 Inclusive Growth goals of growing the number of skilled workers, quality jobs, and thriving households in all corners of our region.

While we have more new names and faces on our board roster than ever before, you all know that it is your investment in our work that allows us to do what we do. Our priorities, strategies, activities, goals, and workplans fully reflect your leadership, direction, feedback, partnership, and support. We look forward to continuing to share this year with all of you as we best position the San Diego economy and community for all that lies ahead.

In closing, I want to share the words sent to me after our last in-person board meeting by EDC board member Bob Rief, executive director and co-founder of San Diego Sport Innovators:

“The EDC meetings are so provocative…virtually every one is a reminder about how much more every citizen, specially me, can do.”

Know that we draw the same inspiration from and share the same admiration for all of you. Look forward to seeing you all in the months ahead.

Sincerely,

Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

More news and events from edc

Investor Spotlight: The Lufthansa Group

As a non-profit, San Diego Regional EDC is supported by investment from nearly 200 private organizations, companies, and public agencies. With their support, EDC provides direct services to help companies grow and thrive in San Diego and, through its affiliate World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), leads global initiatives to enhance the region’s recovery and resilience.

We sat down with Lufthansa Group, WTCSD’s preferred European airline, to discuss its partnership with and support of key efforts to connect San Diego’s business community to Europe. Check out the investor spotlight below!


Tell us about Lufthansa Group and its commitment to global connectivity.

The Lufthansa Group is one of the world’s leading aviation groups, as well as the market leader in Europe’s airline sector. The airlines of the Lufthansa Group—Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Eurowings Discover—fly business and leisure passengers to more than 300 destinations around the world via hubs in Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, and Zurich. Passengers enjoy a premium product and a comprehensive route network, combined with the highest level of travel flexibility. In its 2022 summer schedule, the Lufthansa Group carriers will offer flights from 30 North American gateways to the various home market hubs, Europe-at-large, and the world.

From San Diego to Germany, and beyond 

A long-time partner, Lufthansa continues to work collaboratively with WTCSD and San Diego Regional Airport Authority (SAN) to offer a trusted gateway from our region into Western Europe.

In March 2022, Lufthansa launched its nonstop service to Munich, opening an opportunity for San Diego companies to partner with German and other EU innovators.

WTCSD’s 2021 Annual Report and the Go Global 2025 Report showed the San Diego business community is eager to return to international travel and expand global connectivity—and Lufthansa’s direct Munich flights have enjoyed positive feedback and frequent use since its launch.

Thriving Cities: A trade mission to the Netherlands

In September 2022, WTCSD will take a delegation of San Diego business leaders to the Netherlands via Lufthansa’s new direct flight to Munich. Over the course of a week, trade mission delegates will broaden international connectivity between San Diego and Western Europe with topics ranging from mobility, sustainability, to life sciences and tech.

In collaboration with Lufthansa and the Consulate of the Netherlands, WTCSD aims to drive increased investment between the two regions.

Are you a senior leader at a San Diego innovation company interested in joining the delegation? Contact Caroline Murray, listed below, for details.

From San Diego to the world

WTCSD looks forward to continuing its partnership with Lufthansa and collaborating on opportunities to help San Diego companies access new international markets through programs like:

  • MetroConnect
  • Future Trade missions
  • Reliable connectivity to Germany and beyond

Stay in touch

Read more about EDC’s investors in our investor spotlight blog series. Or, join Lufthansa Group and become a member of EDC.

Contact our team:

Caroline Murray
Caroline Murray

Coordinator, World Trade Center San Diego

Two years after expanding to San Diego, Canadian company enters clinical trials with drug to treat metastatic breast cancer

 5 business leaders in front of PMD sign to celebrate their expansion
Phoenix Molecular Designs announces expansion to SD in June 2017

In June 2017, Phoenix Molecular Designs(PMD), a Canadian biotech company working on a breast cancer therapy, announced it was expanding to San Diego during World Trade Center San Diego’s Trade Mission to Vancouver. Over two years later, PMD- which now has an outpost at JLabs – is now one step closer to bringing its life-saving treatment to market. And it’s happening because of PMD’s clinical work in San Diego.

Phoenix Molecular Designs’ therapy is developed to treat triple-negative breast cancer. This aggressive form of cancer is often likely to become metastatic, and has a poorer prognosis than other forms of breast cancer. In 2019, nearly 270,000 individuals will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the US alone. Up to 20 percent of those new cases – over 50,000 – are estimated to be the triple-negative type.

But thanks to PMD, there’s a new form of hope.

The company has officially entered Phase 1/1b clinical trials for PMD-026 with the FDA, meaning they are able to administer the drugs to their first patients.

“Dosing the first patient in this newly initiated clinical trial is a paramount milestone for PhoenixMD,” said Andrew Dorr, M.D., chief medical officer of Phoenix Molecular Designs. “We believe PMD-026 to be a promising new approach to treat advanced breast cancer and we look forward to building upon this momentum in the pursuit of a potential treatment option for individuals living with advanced forms of breast cancer.”

International partnerships take time

When World Trade Center San Diego – EDC’s international affiliate – set its sights on Vancouver in 2017 for its first international trade mission, it was in hopes of spurring international partnerships in the life sciences and clean technologies sectors.

WTCSD first met Dr. Sandra Dunn, CEO of Phoenix Molecular Designs, when the international BIO convention was in town in 2017. After a quick conversation, it was clear that in order to meet their lofty goal of bringing a treatment to market, Phoenix Molecular Designs needed to expand somewhere in the U.S. with a strong biotech sector and access to top-tier clinical talent.

A few weeks later, City of San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, World Trade Center San Diego, and a delegation of 20 senior-level San Diego leaders were in PMD’s board room in Richmond – right outside of Vancouver – helping the company plan its expansion.

Today, PMD’s presence has grown to nearly 15 employees in San Diego and with the latest funding round, may see additional growth. And its engaged other companies along the way. PMD has partnered with WuXi STA, another international company with a presence in San Diego, to develop and manufacture PMD-026.

At a time of mounting global uncertainty, it is important that San Diego continues to show up in international markets and forge partnerships. The next life-saving treatment is out there, and if San Diego’s regional track record is any indication, we may play a part in bringing it to the world.

Other articles you may be interested in:

Ahead of Brexit deadline, World Trade Center San Diego to lead trade mission to Germany

Ahead of the U.K.’s impending departure from the European Union, World Trade Center San Diego, the international affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC, is leading a delegation to Frankfurt and Munich, Germany. The trade mission will lay the groundwork for San Diego companies to develop long-term business relationships with the European market.

With the launch of Lufthansa’s non-stop service from San Diego to Frankfurt and a shift in economic power resulting from Brexit, Germany will become an increasingly important trade and investment partner for San Diego,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and vice president of economic development at San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “If San Diego wants to be recognized as a global economic player, it is important that we continue to show up and develop partnerships with markets that buy our goods and invest in our economy.”

Germany is currently the fourth-largest economy in the world, and is increasingly becoming one of San Diego’s most vital trading partners. According to data collected by World Trade Center San Diego, German-based companies, including Kontron, Evotec and BioNTech, directly employ more than 2,700 individuals in San Diego.

The trade mission will focus on three key subject areas:

  • Best practices in mobility, transportation and smart cities – Amid discussions about the future of transportation in San Diego, the delegation will explore technologies, best practices and strategic partnerships in mobility, the internet of things and smart cities through visits to Siemens, BMW and IBM’s cutting-edge Watson Lab. Additionally, through a visit to the House of Logistics & Mobility in Frankfurt, the delegation will learn a bit more about Frankfurt’s world-class transportation system.
  • Strengthening global life sciences partnerships – Like San Diego, Munich has become a hub for life sciences and biotech. Following a visit to BioM and the world-renowned Max Planck Institutes, German-based Evotec and the site lead from Takeda’s San Diego office will expand on a partnership that will benefit San Diego’s life sciences ecosystem.
  • Reinforcing global ties in a post-Brexit economy – Through meetings with the European Central Bank and the U.S. Consulates General in Frankfurt and Munich, the delegation will explore the gravitational shift in global trade while developing relationships with the experts responsible for evaluating trade policy.

Delegates will participate in upwards of 13 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and formulating collaborations across many industry verticals. The 20 -San Diego delegates include representatives from Takeda California, Qualcomm, General Atomics, Cubic Transportation Systems and more. Also in attendance are key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as UC San Diego, San Diego State University, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, the Port of San Diego and more.

At a time of mounting global uncertainty – particularly in the European Union – World Trade Center San Diego conducts trade missions to drive long term relationships for San Diego’s economy. Previously, World Trade Center San Diego led trade missions to Vancouver, London and Tokyo, which enabled startups Forge Therapeutics and Scientist.com to expand their global operations.

This trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

Follow along during the trade mission: #SDinGermany.

Rep. Peters, WTC San Diego to lead trade mission to Japan

In an effort to create a connection between vital economic trading partners, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) and World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC, are leading a delegation to Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan. During the trade mission, local companies and organizations will promote key San Diego industries, establish and develop business relationships and explore opportunities for San Diego companies to tap into Japan’s expertise in urban planning and life sciences.

“In today’s global economy, San Diego’s success depends on fostering international relationships that bring investment and jobs to our region,” said Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52). “Japan shares our commitment to life sciences and our startup culture, creating opportunities for collaboration every day. Strengthening our partnership will foster innovation and economic growth in both our regions.”

Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world, and one of San Diego’s most vital trading partners. According to World Trade Center Los Angeles, nearly 12,000 San Diegans are directly employed by Japan-based companies including SONY, Takeda and more. Additionally, there was more than $3.4 billion in economic activity between San Diego and Japan from 2016 -2018.

“Ever since the launch of Japan Airlines’ direct service from San Diego, we have seen an influx in foreign investment from the Japanese market,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and vice president of economic development at San Diego Regional EDC. “As the rhetoric around global engagement shifts, now, more than ever, it is essential that we reinforce San Diego’s brand so it is top of mind for investors and companies.”

Over the three day trade mission, San Diego will look to bolster its tech and life sciences industries through various meetings and partnership deals with Japanese counterparts. Some crucial agenda items include:

  • An announcement from a San Diego-based biotech startup that is expanding to Tokyo.
  • A ‘trends in venture capital forum’ with Qualcomm, Yahoo! Japan and others at Plug and Play, the world’s largest technology accelerator.
  • A celebration of more than 60 years of a “Sister City” relationship with Yokohama, Japan.
  • An immersive visit to Takeda’s Shonan Health Innovation Park, one of the first collaborative academic and private sector research centers in Japan.
  • Panels and programming surrounding best practices and ideas exchanges on climate change with Scripps Institute of Oceanography as well as leadership and gender equity.

Delegates will participate in upwards of 15 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and formulating collaborations across many verticals. The 31-San Diego delegates include representatives from Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm Takeda California and more. Also in attendance are key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as the Port of San Diego, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, San Diego State University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego and more.

Additionally, many small businesses and startups, including FoxFury Lighting Solutions, Planck Aerosystems and Scientist.com, will have the opportunity to engage in business development opportunities with Japanese counterparts.

As Tokyo looks to modernize infrastructure and grapples with key issues ahead of the 2020 Olympics, San Diego leaders have the unique opportunity to learn from counterparts across the globe, while also maintaining ties that create jobs and boost the regional economy.

At a time of mounting global uncertainty, World Trade Center San Diego conducts periodic trade missions to drive long term relationships for San Diego’s economy. In 2017, World Trade Center San Diego and Congressman Peters led a trade mission to London, which enabled startup Forge Therapeutics to double its headcount in San Diego and expand to a new facility.

This trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC.

Follow along during the trade mission: #SDinJapan.