British life science companies choose Irvine

by TOM BERG

A delegation of British executives recently landed in Orange County — and not for sun and fun.

They were scouting locations for corporate headquarters in the burgeoning global center of the life science industry — Irvine.

“The life science industry is massive in Irvine, with 400 companies offering 18,000 jobs,” said Bill Carpou, CEO of OCTANe, which advocates for life science businesses. “It is known internationally.”

Master Plan set the stage

In the highstakes game of jobs of the future, Irvine continues to come out on top.

“More than 900 technology companies operate in Irvine alone, with half of those specializing in the life sciences and medical technology,” says Don Bobo, recent past chair of the California Life Sciences Association and a corporate vice president at Edwards Lifesciences.

Global leaders like Edwards Lifesciences and Allergan — both in Irvine — anchor a flourishing local industry that delivers treatments for heart and other health conditions.

Irvine’s Master Plan set the stage for this success six decades ago with the establishment of UC Irvine as the foundation of the city. UC Irvine’s advanced medical research and abundance of STEM graduates — more than 3,000 STEM degrees are conferred each year — are key drivers for this high-tech business sector.

New UK companies

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce hosted the visiting U.K. delegation, which toured Edwards Lifesciences, Hoag Hospital and UCI Applied Innovation.

“As a result of the visit and three prior trips we took to the U.K., new U.S. corporate headquarters will soon locate in Irvine, bringing more highwage STEM jobs to our city,” said chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr.

“This work, and our other initiatives, ensures high-tech jobs await our children when they graduate.”

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a delegation of British executives.