San Diego, California - Economy - Manufacturing and Research

Manufacturing and Research

In 2010, former Governor Schwarzenegger’s Office of Economic Development designated San Diego as an iHub Innovation Center for collaboration potentially between wireless and life sciences, citing the area's wireless business, pharmaceutical research and start-ups for medical devices and diagnostics.

San Diego hosts several major producers of wireless cellular technology. Qualcomm was founded and is headquartered in San Diego, and still is the largest private-sector technology employer (excluding hospitals) in San Diego County. Other wireless industry manufacturers headquartered here include Nokia, LG Electronics, Kyocera International., Cricket Communications and Novatel Wireless. According to the San Diego Business Journal, the largest software company in San Diego is security software company Websense Inc. San Diego also has the U.S. headquarters for the Slovakian security company ESET.

The presence of the University of California, San Diego and other research institutions has helped to fuel biotechnology growth. In June 2004, San Diego was ranked the top biotech cluster in the United States by the Milken Institute. In 2013, San Diego has the second largest biotech cluster in the United States, below the Boston area and above the San Francisco Bay Area. There are more than 400 biotechnology companies in the area. In particular, the La Jolla and nearby Sorrento Valley areas are home to offices and research facilities for numerous biotechnology companies. Major biotechnology companies like Neurocrine Biosciences and Nventa Biopharmaceuticals are headquartered in San Diego, while many biotech and pharmaceutical companies, such as BD Biosciences, Biogen Idec, Integrated DNA Technologies, Merck, Pfizer, Élan, Celgene, and Vertex, have offices or research facilities in San Diego. There are also several non-profit biotech and health care institutes, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Scripps Research Institute, the West Wireless Health Institute and the Sanford-Burnham Institute. San Diego is also home to more than 140 contract research organizations (CROs) that provide a variety of contract services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Historically tuna fishing and canning was one of San Diego's major industries, and although the American tuna fishing fleet is no longer based in San Diego, seafood companies Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea are still headquartered there.

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