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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024
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SDBJ Insider

Bolstering Trade with Asia

San Diego business, city and county leaders are embarked on a four-day trip, Oct. 27-Nov. 2, to South Korea to bolster economic partnerships with the Asian country.

The San Diego trade delegation is being led by Mayor Todd Gloria, County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas and World Trade Center San Diego, and includes two dozen San Diego delegates including business representatives from Illumina, Qualcomm, Viasat, ASML, Cubic, General Dynamics NASSCO, Gafcon, Tioga Research and Nano PharmaSolutions. Representatives from the Port of San Diego, San Diego International Airport, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, SANDAG, Imperial Valley EDC and Tijuana EDC are also in the delegation.

The trade mission to South Korea is a strategic move to strengthen San Digo alliances in East Asia, while addressing a shift in U.S. trade policy that is moving away from industrial reliance on China. South Korea is an especially attractive trade partner to San Diego because of its similar knowledge-intensive industries, such as genetic medicine, semiconductors, and clean energy.

“With San Diego’s innovation ecosystem, Imperial Valley’s clean energy leadership, and Tijuana’s advanced manufacturing prowess, we have all the necessary pieces to anchor the supply chains of the future: collaboratively, efficiently, and sustainably,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and senior vice president at San Diego Regional EDC.

Highlighted during the trade mission will be the partnership between Dexcom and South Korean-based Kakao, which enables Dexcom to bring its glucose monitoring technology to the South Korean market; formal meetings of bi-regional employers including Qualcomm, Illumina, and Samsung Biologics; and discussions on infrastructure and regional development projects such as the Seaport Village redevelopment plan and the “Lithium Valley” transformation in Imperial County.

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San Diego-based Cohn Restaurant Group’s two Maui locations are up and running again, following closure due to the wildfire that devastated the island in August.

The beachfront Castaway Café in Ka’anaplai Villas just north of downtown Lahaina, reopened Oct. 11, and the Plantation House Restaurant, overlooking the Plantation Golf Course in the Kapula Resort, opened Oct. 18.

Following the fire, owners David and Leslie Cohn initiated a pledge drive to support the 200 employees at their Maui locations, offering to match up to $100,000 for money raised on a GoFundMe site. As of Oct. 26, the site had raised $96,278.

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Nobel Prize-winning UC San Diego chemistry professor Roger Tsein was posthumously honored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame last week at the organization’s Greatest Celebration of American Innovation held in Alexandria, Virginia. He was one of 16 inventors induced into the hall of fame.

Tsein pioneered the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) variants – what allows certain jellyfish to glow – to enable scientists to track multiple cellular processes simultaneously. For his work in this field, Tsein shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 along with fellow researchers Osamu Shimomura and Martin Chalfie.

Since their discovery, GFPs have been used to visualize specific cell types in intact animals, organs, and tissues, as well as novel uses such as bioengineering beer that glows.

Tsein tragically died in 2016 on a bike trail in Eugene, Oregon.

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