A study conducted by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has found that the direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of the algae biotechnology research and manufacturing industry in the area generates $80 million in wages and more than $175 million in economic output to the San Diego region.
Algae biotechnology continues to have a strong economic presence in the San Diego region and employment continues to show consistent growth. Direct employment in algae biotechnology-related manufacturing and research has nearly doubled since 2009, according to SANDAG.
“With top scientists conducting cutting-edge research at UC San Diego and business leaders like Sapphire Energy, Cellana, and Synthetic Genomics continuing to innovate, San Diego’s algae market will only continue to flourish,” said Jason Anderson, president of CleanTECH San Diego.
“Many of us have recognized the potential of algae as a biotechnology platform for years, and these employment and wage data show that this potential is finally being realized,” said Stephen Mayfield, a professor of biology at UC – San Diego and director of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology. “These data are just the beginning, and I expect the industry to expand rapidly over the next several years as more and more bio-products come on line from algae biotechnology.”
In its findings, SANDAG also noted algae biotechnology’s potential to produce economic and environmental benefits beyond those measured in the report — for example, as a sustainable fuel source, which could result in advantages such as a cleaner environment and lower fuel costs.
“Algae biotechnology is really the Green Revolution 2.0 — in which we use sunlight and captured CO2 to make every bio-product imaginable, from fuel to human therapeutics, and in a sustainable and cost effective manner,” Mayfield said. “What is not shown in SANDAG’s data are the enormous environmental and societal benefits that also come with this new sustainable bio-manufacturing revolution.”