Research institutions have a $4.6 billion impact on San Diego’s economy, according to a report scheduled to be released Tuesday afternoon by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
The EDC said independent research institutes like the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have an economic impact of $2.7 billion, while university-based centers add another $1.9 billion.
The total is equal to the impact of four conventions, the basing of six aircraft carrier, 33 U.S. Open golf tournaments and 34 Comic-Con International conventions, the EDC said.
Combined, the organizations support 37,000 jobs in the region, receive $1.8 billion in federal and philanthropic funding, and attract the world’s best and brightest minds — including 111 National Academy of Science fellows, the report found.
Notably the independent research institutes in San Diego receive more research funding from the National Institutes of Health and generate more patents than counterparts in any metropolitan area of the U.S.
“From Ebola to Alzheimer’s to HIV, San Diego’s research institutions are developing breakthrough therapies that are advancing healthcare and quality of life on a global scale,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “With this study, for the first time, we not only understand the impact these research institutions have on global well-being, but the way they drive job creation and impact our economy.”
The EDC recommended that coalitions be formed to seek continued financial support, including quarterly trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby federal officials. The research industry should also coordinate with the EDC’s Go Global initiative in order to lure international funding, the report says.
The EDC also suggested that industry officials create technical training programs, focus job creation efforts on mid-level positions like laboratory technicians and assistants, and develop more interactive labs to gain interest from K-12 students.
City News Service contributed to this article.
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