Tracking San Diego’s innovation economy is a bit like counting plants in the Amazon: Just when you think you’re getting somewhere, a thousand new wonders sprout up behind you. Carry a smartphone? It almost certainly contains technology pioneered by local wireless giant Qualcomm. Buy a new computer recently? That smaller, faster chip inside was likely made possible by a billion-dollar local company called Cymer. The decoding of the human genome? Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute played a major role in that and in producing the first synthetic bacterial cell last May. Like to surf? Matuse makes wetsuits not from petroleum-derived neoprene, but from a limestone-based material dubbed Geoprene.
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