Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2008| For the last 10 years, I have watched the biotech industry and wondered why we don’t make use of our resources at hand, namely the southern and eastern sectors of the county. Both the southeastern and Otay areas of the region have the land and resources that should attract the commercialization of the biotech industry.
Interestingly enough, even with tax incentives and credits the industry does not appear willing to engage. I would submit that it may be a “lifestyle” issue. Everyone wants the prestige of being in the right place, north of Highway 8, etc. However, I suggest that ample opportunities exist for the visionaries (we really need some of those in “America’s Finest City”) who can engage the greater San Diego community to do the following in the southern county areas:
1.) Improve educational achievement, this is a long play to improve local labor force, overall perception, and community value. While difficult, it could begin with a math and science charter school system.
2.)Re-create Otay Mesa as an environmental remediation R&D platform with the Tijuana River Valley as a case study. It would convert low wage warehouses to high tech jobs and perhaps have a Silicon Valley effect on the environmental remediation industry.
3.)Revitalize the community infrastructure. We have Eastlake with its new homes and communities but it’s time to invest in the aging infrastructure. Mexico could be engaged for low-cost biotech commercialization. It would be great to see the biotech industry expand its geographic platform for the greater good of all the county. Not only does it make San Diego stronger but probably creates a higher ROI in the long run. It would take lots of work I know, but I can dream.