(a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) Biotechnology represents one of the most promising,
innovation-based growth industries of this era. California is the
nation's leading state in biotechnology innovation and production.
(2) The San Diego region, as the world's third largest
biotechnology industry cluster, is host to world-class generators of
science and technology in biotechnology and the related life
(3) Despite the specialized nature of emerging biotechnology
firms, their recent growth has been extensive, and with that growth
has come an ever-increasing demand for trained biotechnology workers
at all levels. The industry's workforce has grown at an annual rate
of about 15 percent over the past five years, and California's
biotechnology workforce could easily grow to over 250,000 by the year
2015 from its current level of 100,000.
(4) Biotechnology employers need entry-level and advanced
professionals that have a background in, and familiarity with,
industrylike conditions for basic, applied, and translational
research, development, and production. Based on recent studies, there
is a clear and strong demand for applied bioscience training, but
that demand is currently not being met by the region's universities
(5) Companies nationally have overwhelmingly endorsed an
"industry-focused" approach of providing internship training programs
directly with the companies, combined with "company-like" training
(6) Many firms have identified the difficulty in finding entry
level biotechnology workers at both the graduate and undergraduate
levels as being directly related to the students' lack of applied
industry training or exposure. Many firms have had to extensively
train new employees to teach them how to function in a biotechnology
business environment. Additionally, nearly three-fourths of firms
surveyed in San Diego and nationally have indicated that they would
benefit from being able to hire workers that have been prepared to
enter the workforce through advanced biotechnology internships and
training of a "specific" nature.
(7) San Diego and the surrounding area is served by many
well-recognized academic institutions, from community colleges to
universities offering doctorate programs, that supply educated
workers to the biotechnology industry. At each academic level (AA,
BS/BA, MS/MA, Ph.D.) curricula are in place, but most of the
curricula are only marginally related to biotechnology workforce
preparation in the applied sector. Applied education in the form of
internships or instruction in practical science skills that would
smooth the transition from academic institutions to the commercial
biotechnology environment is even less prevalent than the
biotechnology curricula offered at many schools, and is only now just
(8) Many of California's firms have found that many students
graduate from four-year university programs with adequate conceptual
understanding of biotechnology, but with relatively little practical
laboratory experience, especially in the skills and protocols that
are specific to commercial ventures as opposed to academic research.
(9) In 2001, the Legislature created the Pasadena Bioscience
Center to address biotechnology workforce needs in the Los Angeles
region. The Pasadena Bioscience Center provides applied workforce
training and includes components for research and innovation, new
business incubation, and bioinformatics. In cooperation with
California State University, the City of Pasadena, Pasadena City
College, the California Institute of Technology, Huntington Medical
Research Institutes, and local biotechnology companies and
organizations, the Pasadena Bioscience Center serves as a successful
model of focused education and training, tailored to specific
industry needs, and that may be utilized in other areas of the state.
(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that to address
workforce needs in biotechnology, a multiuse biotechnology training
center is being created in San Diego to serve as an anchor and
catalyst for the growth of biotechnology enterprises in San Diego.
The center will operate as a nonprofit organization under Section 501
(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and will serve as a catalyst for
accelerating the growth and formation of new bioscience enterprises
that will create value-added jobs and high economic multipliers in
the San Diego region. For this purpose:
(1) The center will provide state-of-the-art, industry-oriented
bioscience training and act as a strong contributor to the growth and
retention of bioscience companies in the region. As such, the
center, as proposed, will help encourage biotechnology companies to
remain in the region, thereby offsetting the pull of other, less
expensive business environments that have been recruiting both
startup and existing local area bioscience companies.
(2) The center will utilize the organization, programs, and work
of the Pasadena Bioscience Center as successful models in the
development of the San Diego Multiuse Biotechnology Training Center
and its programs.
(3) The new center will serve as a world class biotechnology
workforce training facility offering practical, hands-on learning
experiences, including short-term workshops and courses, and more
extended training that will involve putting together
multidisciplinary, multilevel teams of researchers, technicians,
production specialists, apprentices, and students to work in a
(4) The center will coordinate an extensive applied biotechnology
internship program that will place students in local biotechnology
companies for practical training and experience.
(5) The center will have the most relevant and advanced training
possible, including an emphasis in bioinformatics, that will ensure
that the center attains a position at the forefront of this rapidly
expanding, cross-application specialization within biotechnology.
(6) The center will have facilities and a collection of
instruments not generally available to the region's secondary
schools, colleges, or universities.
(7) The center can serve as a capstone training site for regional
(8) The center will address the needs of existing as well as
future industry employees.
(9) The center may appoint directors to a board of directors, and
existing participants in the center may serve as the original board
of directors. The center may appoint new directors, as necessary, in
(10) The center will work with private universities, companies,
associations, and various public agencies through memoranda of
understanding under Section 9702, for the purpose of coordinating
services and receiving assistance and support.
The San Diego Community College District, California State
University, University of California, Employment Development
Department, Employment Training Panel, California Health and Human
Services Agency, Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California
Workforce Investment Board, and the San Diego Workforce Partnership
may enter into memoranda of understanding with the center to utilize
existing staff and resources to provide any of the following:
(a) Funding, if moneys are appropriated.
(c) Program development.
(h) Physical office, administration, and training space.