Green Tech, make room for “Blue Tech.”

San Diego city and county officials Tuesday approved a “maritime vision” for the region that will include forming a Blue Tech incubator to create jobs and businesses.

San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox at Sweetwater Park. Photo courtesy supervisor's office
San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox at Sweetwater Park. Photo courtesy supervisor’s office

“Our Blue Economy already includes 1,400 maritime-related companies with over 46,000 employees, but we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do with it,” said county Supervisor Greg Cox.

Cox has championed the Blue Economy with support from The Maritime Alliance.

The alliance calls itself a 501(c)(6) nonprofit industry association whose mission is “promoting BlueTech and Blue Jobs. TMA is the cluster organizer of the San Diego maritime technology community and fosters maritime business and technology innovation through collaboration around the U.S. and the world.”

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said: “Thanks to our fast-growing Blue Tech economy, San Diego has yet another opportunity to be a global leader in technology and innovation. Our coastal city is uniquely position to be the perfect global breeding ground for water-related innovation and jobs.”

The plan was approved unanimously at separate meetings of the Board of Supervisors and the City Council.

Speakers including representatives from the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. supported the vote, according to a statement.

The joint action promotes “San Diego as a leading global maritime technology center,” according to a resolution. The Port of San Diego is expected to vote on the vision in April.

As part of that vision, the agencies will develop a Blue Tech incubator to create more jobs and businesses in water technology, aquaculture, underwater robotics and other related industries.

“I’m proud to lead this effort that is a big step toward creating a Blue Tech incubator and related Center of Excellence and putting San Diego front and center for Blue Tech globally,” Faulconer said. “A regional vision and a Blue Tech incubator will help us realize the full potential of our Blue Economy.”

Last year, working with the Port, the Supervisor pushed for the temporary opening of a fishermen’s market at Seaport Village. He is working with state legislators on a bill that would allow for permanent fishermen’s markets and would promote locally caught seafood.

Council President Sherri Lightner said: “San Diego has an opportunity to establish a Blue Tech Center of Excellence due to our unique confluence of ocean resources, research, industry, military, climate, an educated workforce and an international border.

“With the City Council’s action today, we are agreeing to unite efforts through regional collaboration and partnerships with private, public, educational institutions and various technology sectors to further develop sustainable, science-based ocean industries that balance conservation and economic development.”