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Proof-Positive Local Innovators

Where big ideas emerge

San Diego was named the one of the West’s best places “to hatch new ideas” by Sunset Magazine, and our innovation economy is where big ideas emerge.

Take a look at how San Diego’s contagiously upbeat vibe inspires positivity, productivity and innovation:

Matuse Wetsuits: With a mission statement that includes “enhancing cultural and environmental awareness,” San Diego-based Matuse is innovating greener wetsuits made not from petroleum-derived neoprene, but from a limestone-based material dubbed Geoprene.

Qualcomm Inc.: A world leader in next-generation mobile technologies, the innovators at Qualcomm Inc. are breaking new ground every day. In Wireless Health, their Internet of Everything Module (IEM) is improving lives and helping individuals manage treatments and monitor diseases with wireless, real-time engagement and connected health solutions.

Sapphire Energy: Pioneering an entirely new industry, green crude production, Sapphire Energy is a clean tech company with the potential to profoundly change America’s energy landscape for the better. How? Biofuel derived from algae. It’s no wonder that The Wall Street Journal chose Sapphire Energy as “Next Big Thing” in 2011.

J. Craig Venter Institute: John Craig Venter is a biologist and entrepreneur, most famous for being one of the first to successfully map the human genome. His name continues to appear on “Most Influential” lists since TIME Magazine’s “Top 100” in 2007. His institute, with its West Coast home in San Diego, continues to make huge leaps in the new frontier of decoding the mystery of life.

CleanTECH San Diego: A culture of collaboration is critical to advancing complex and converging industries, and CleanTECH San Diego is a research organization that does just that. The convergence of clean tech and biotech is a great strength, bringing together government, business and academic institutions in support of cutting-edge specializations with a diverse member base of world-class universities, innovative technology companies, institutions, investors, municipalities and service providers.

Sempra Energy: With more than 17,000 employees worldwide, the Sempra Energy companies develop energy infrastructure, operate utilities and provide related products and services to about 26 million consumers worldwide. In 2011, for the third straight year, Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric is ranked as the most intelligent utility in America, according to IDC.

California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2): Exciting scientific developments are fueled by nanotechnology, life sciences, information technology and telecommunications, but according to Calit2 “to drive innovation, you must be innovative.” Calit2 represents a new mechanism to address large-scale societal issues by bringing together multidisciplinary teams, accelerating innovation and shortening the time to product development and job creation.

Salk Institute: Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine, established the Salk Institute for Biological Studies nearly 50 years ago to pursue questions about the basic principles of life. Today it employs a scientific staff of more than 850, including visiting scientists, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students providing potential new therapies for chronic diseases from cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer's disease, to cardiovascular disorders, anomalies of the brain and birth defects. Studies in plant biology at the Salk may one day help improve the quality and quantity of the world's food supply.

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