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San Diego’s biotech story began in the 1950s, when various academies – Salk Institute, Scripps, and the University of California, San Diego – cropped up in the city. They would go on to become some of the preeminent research institutions for biotechnology in Southern California and in the nation. By 1965, the area now known as Torrey Pines Mesa was designated for science and research development, and the fruits of that labor have cemented San Diego as the third largest hub of biotechnology in the world.
Today, biotechnology contributes $27.7 billion to the local gross product and sustains 63,706 high-paying jobs in San Diego. The city is made up of 2,162 labs and biotechnology companies. But even outside the biotech epicenter of San Diego, Escondido has become its own hub for B2B companies that service the biotech industry. Not only do these companies benefit from commuter-friendly proxmity to their client base, but they can take advantage of Escondido’s larger and more accessible building and facility spaces, lower cost of living, and diverse community. Those are just some of the factors that motivated the owners of Pacific Ergonomics, a supplier of innovative design solutions and ergonomic furniture for labs, office spaces, and healthcare facilities, to relocate from their San Diego office in Mira Mesa to a fully equipped showroom and headquarters in Escondido.
“We didn’t know a lot about Escondido when we were searching for a new office and showroom space to purchase,” said Annie Berzanski, CEO of Pacific Ergonomics. “But we became enamored with the community, the accessibility to our client base, the on-going transformation of the city, and the livability that would make it a seamless transition for ourselves and for our employees.”
The density of biotechnology companies in San Diego creates a pipeline of opportunity for B2B companies like Pacific Ergonomics to bolster the industry. Choosing the right office furnishing and lab furniture for biotechnology labs is as much of a science as the work that goes on there. The team at Pacific Ergonomics tailors its ergonomic furniture solutions based on their clients’ processes, employee needs, ergonomic gains, and risk factors. There are several injury and productivity issues that can be addressed with the right retrofitted furniture, shares Berzanski. Poor ergonomic setups contribute to more sick days, and uncomfortable employees are not productive.
“Incorrect ergonomics workstations cost companies $15 billion every year in Workers Comp claims,” said Berzanski. “Our goal is to not only help our clients reduce their risk, but create a work environment that boosts productivity and allows employees to feel safe, happy, and comfortable.”
While Pacific Ergonomics is still settling into their new space, it will soon be outfitted with top-of-the-line ergonomic office furniture, medical furniture, unique ergonomic solutions, and lab furniture solutions to experience firsthand. Located in the historic district on Grand Avenue, Berzanski shared her appreciation for the immediate welcome paid by the Escondido community.
“Our old office was really just a hub for us to do business, but our new space allows us to showcase our solutions and welcome our clients, procurement teams, HR teams, EHS professionals, designers and architects to visualize their spaces,” said Berzanski. “We are grateful to the Escondido business community and the City of Escondido who have made us feel immediately at home in Escondido.”
Of course, Escondido’s biotech companies don’t just center operations around the happenings in San Diego. Aquacyl, a woman-owned and woman-run wastewater treatment technology company that serves the food and beverage industries as well as oil and gas mediation, launched a pilot program for its swine water treatment at a local teaching farm located at San Pasqual High School. By installing a BETT™ system, Aquacyl was able to demonstrate to students how agricultural technology can reduce the overall land footprint and treatment time of hog production wastewater. Agtech is another legacy sector in Escondido that supports our dense farming community, and benefits the region overall.
At the recent San Diego AgTech Hackathon event, more than 100 entrepreneurs, farmers, investors, students, and community leaders were brought together to discuss solutions for some of the pressing issues facing California’s agricultural industry and food supply.
For more information on how the City of Escondido supports its key industries and local businesses, visit escondido.org/economic-development.