San Diego Business Journal
Late last week, Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom California, called California’s booming life science industry “a key economic driver” across the Golden State. Panetta’s organization, which represents more than 1,500 members of California’s life science community, hosted its annual three-day global conference in La Jolla.

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George Lurie

More than 430 attendees – an all-time high -- gathered at the Lodge at Torrey Pines for the exclusive partnering and networking forum.


San Diego Business Journal reporter Jeff Clemetson, who covers the life science beat, spent two full days at the event, which included panel discussions, one-on-one partnering meetings, even “fireside chats” with industry luminaries.

“From venture funding for startups to partnering opportunities with big pharmaceuticals, I’m really impressed by how thorough the conference is at following the business of biotech and pharma development,” Clemetson said.

Panel members and attendees were thrilled to be meeting in person this year. “For many, it was the first in-person event they’ve attended since the outbreak of the pandemic,” Clemetson reported.

Biocom also made news last week in adding Amy Butler, Ph.D., president of Biosciences at Thermo Fisher Scientific, to its board of directors and David H. Crean, Ph.D., managing partner of Coast Bioventures LLC, to its board of governors.

Butler is the president of biosciences at Thermo Fisher. Venture capital vet Crean has more than 25 years of experience in life sciences and healthcare M&A.

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La Jolla Music Society (LJMS) has installed an array of solar panels on the roof of its home, The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center. With 237 panels each generating 425W, expected monthly savings in energy costs are projected to be 25 percent -- or more than $1.3 million over the next 30 years.

LJMS CEO Todd Schultz said, “It’s important to us as a performance venue and as a participating member of this community to make every effort possible to minimize environmental impact. Although our primary mission is in the performing arts, we can work in many other ways to improve the world we live in and to serve as good community partners.”

LJMS donors Raffaella and John Belanich and Bebe and Marvin Zigman led fundraising efforts with major donations to cover the $307,000 cost of installation.

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Microbusinesses around San Diego County hurt by COVID-19 can now apply online for $2,500 grants.

The County Board of Supervisors last week approved making 1,550 grants totaling $3.8 million, funded in part by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate, to some of the smallest businesses in the county, like home businesses, sidewalk vendors, home healthcare workers, even pet sitters.

Microbusiness owners may be eligible for a $2,500 grant if their business was started before Dec. 31, 2019, is their primary source of revenue and is currently operating or has a plan to reopen. More information is available on the County’s website.