It’s long been recognized that “industry clusters” – geographic concentrations of similar businesses – benefit the individual companies within them by giving each access to a larger pool of skilled labor, improving the quality of industry-specific services, deepening the supply chain, encouraging knowledge transfer, and increasing opportunities for innovation and collaboration.
The Berkeley-Emeryville corridor is home to more than 150 biotech and life sciences firms, contains more than 1.45 million square feet of commercial wet lab space, and hosts research centers like QB3 - Berkeley, QB3 - East Bay Innovation Center, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), and the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) and Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) divisions at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
A rich bio-ecosystem
There are few places in the world that can claim the abundance of world-class research universities, laboratories and cutting-edge facilities found in Berkeley and Emeryville.
Berkeley and Emeryville benefit from immediate proximity to a nearly $1 billion pipeline of research and development at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and state-of-the art equipment and lab space. The proximity and ongoing dialogue among industry experts, faculty and students, budding entrepreneurs and global businesses are invaluable to inspiring innovation, new companies and new industries.
Bay Area location
Located on the east shore of San Francisco Bay along Interstate 80, Berkeley and Emeryville are central to the Bay Area, with easy access to San Francisco and Silicon Valley and to the region’s great research universities, including UC Berkeley, Stanford and UCSF.
With numerous startups spinning out of UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory every year, companies that want to grow close to home can find a place to land in Berkeley and Emeryville.
Local government support
The leadership in both cities sees nurturing a biotech industry as a top priority. City staff have the expertise to facilitate review and approval of biotech projects and city policies have resulted in livable cities with next-generation fiber optic connections, transportation, good schools, a variety of housing options and abundant recreation and cultural amenities. Just as important, neighboring cities engage in a degree of collaboration in support of the biotech industry that mirrors the healthy collegiality and competition found in the industry itself.
A tradition of entrepreneurship
Berkeley and Emeryville have a longstanding tradition of incubating and accelerating entrepreneurial growth companies in the biosciences. Both startups and mature companies have easy access to global leaders in accounting, law, management and consulting, not to mention a host of other services and suppliers critical to their businesses.
Talented & skilled workforce
Berkeley and Emeryville are magnets for skilled, technically trained workers and support personnel and UC Berkeley and the Berkeley Lab are a source of brilliant scientists, researchers, engineers, innovators, and businesspeople. Roughly 70 percent of working age residents (over age 25) in Berkeley and Emeryville have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Access to capital
Berkeley-Emeryville Bio companies have historically attracted investment from around the world. Increasingly, Bay Area biotech firms are diversifying their funding sources among government grants, angel investors, venture capital and licensing agreements and partnerships.
Social & professional networking
An intellectual environment that facilitates the free flow of information sharing thrives in the close-knit Berkeley-Emeryville Bio community. Organizations like the Berkeley-Emeryville Bio Cluster, California Life Sciences Association, Biocom, East Bay EDA, QB3- Berkeley and the QB3 East Bay Innovation Center facilitate meet-ups, educational conferences and other opportunities to bring professionals together to make the contacts and connections that encourage communication and collaboration.