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At a Private Xconomy Dinner, Luminaries Debate the Future of Innovation in San Diego

Bruce V. Bigelow, Xconomy San Diego

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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The importance of diversifying the local economy became obvious in San Diego during the 1980s, as the ebb in defense spending exposed the area’s collective dependence on Atlas rockets and cruise missiles, along with the payroll for the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. But the path forward also was obvious—especially after Ely Lilly acquired San Diego’s Hybritech for $480 million in 1986. San Diego’s biotech cluster was born in a confluence of opportunity and necessity.