A recent economic study by BIOCOM, a non-profit trade association representing the Southern California life sciences industry, found that by 2013 there will be 70 percent more life sciences jobs than the national average in the four-county region comprised of Imperial, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. In San Diego alone, life sciences employment grew by 15 percent over the last two years, adding approximately 5,550 jobs. The four-county region has more than 3,500 life sciences companies and employs over 97,000 people. The region boasts a salary advantage as well. On average, salaries range from $54,141 to $116,462, well above the national averages.
Regional competitiveness is attributed to the high regional concentration of research institutes, which fosters innovation and a collaborative environment. And, although there was a decline in venture capital funding due to the economic downturn and industry trends, federal funding for biomedical research in Southern California continued to be strong, contributing to the strength in the region.
According to BIOCOM, Southern California’s supporting infrastructure and critical mass of researchers, entrepreneurs, support services and private investors who understand the risks and long development time for life sciences products are key attractors of life sciences activity in the region.
The life sciences industry cluster is defined as comprising the following sectors: Biopharmaceuticals; Research and Lab Services; Medical Devices and Diagnostics; Industrial Biotechnology and Biofuels and Life Sciences Trade.