Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other city leaders often tout San Diego’s so-called innovation economy — but just what that encompasses isn’t always so clear.
Tech and innovation jobs get referenced interchangeably, just like startups and small businesses often are.
Sometimes they’re the same thing. Sometimes they’re not.
But a report on San Diego’s so-called innovation economy footprint, a twice-a-year endeavor by Connect, a regional group that aims to promote and create technology-tied companies, provides a snapshot of what the popular “innovation economy” tag means.
Not all the companies included in the report or in discussions about San Diego’s business climate are necessarily directly tied to new inventions and ideas, though many are. The statistics Connect pulled for its report come from the state Employment Development Department, the National Institutes of Health and the federal Patent and Trademark Office, among other sources. They offer a window into several categories of new tech companies and their employees but they don’t reveal whether all the companies are producing new things.
Connect and other local economic-development leaders use “innovation economy” as an umbrella term to capture businesses focused on everything from biotech and environmental applications to defense and wireless communications. They’re also interchangeably referred to as tech companies.
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Lisa I have enjoyed reading your series of articles concerning economic policy and politics concerning the local San Diego economy. You obviously have supplied some excellent factual data. However there is still that question as to what does it all really mean in terms of policy?. It seems conservative politicians or Republicans in general are the ones who keep making claims that it is government policy that prevents economic growth. Yet from what I have read in some of these articles it is conservative or Republican politicians who seek public funds to be given to their political or business friends in the name of economic growth. In the old days this was called corruption and influence pedaling. Today it is just policy. I think it lies in direct correlation to the increasing expense of running a political campaign for even the office of dog catcher. You see all of this talk about so called incentives is just a way of making it more palatable to the general public. However from everything you presented I haven't seen a single shred of evidence that it has changed our local economy in a positive way. It seems it is just a device of for revising new ways of funneling public funds to those groups who support a particular political party. This really isn't economics but more of just a scheme for political corruption taken to a new level.
From what I have seen over the last several years is that there is just one business that has been growing rapidly from this policy and that is the big business of politics. Politics is now the number one growth industry in this country. And what's most interesting is that the public is paying for all of this. It has now become a very significant part of our GDP. That is what's most news worthy and interesting from a truly economic perspective.