• June 7, 2012

CONNECT “nearsourcing” manufacturing initiative to be presented at Clinton Global Initiative America Summit as a strategy to restore U.S. jobs and economic growth

CONNECT “nearsourcing” manufacturing initiative to be presented at Clinton Global Initiative America Summit as a strategy to restore U.S. jobs and economic growth

SAN DIEGO, CA. June 7, 2012 – CONNECT San Diego, an organization that catalyzes the creation of innovation companies, has been selected to present San Diego’s “near sourcing” manufacturing and services initiative to 1,000 business leaders at President Clinton’s Global Initiative Summit in Chicago this week. On June 7 and 8, President Clinton will host the second convening of CGI America, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the U.S. at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. www.cgiamerica.org

CONNECT’s near sourcing initiative is one of only 12 “Commitments to Action” that will be presented at the Summit plenary session and then explored in more depth at the Advanced Manufacturing Working Group and in a special convening session focused on girls and women in America. CONNECT’s near sourcing initiative and “Look Near First” campaign was created two years ago when venture capital funding dropped by 60 percent in the San Diego region, to connect the region’s 5,600 manufacturing companies with its 6,000 innovation companies.

“It’s a win-win for San Diego and a replicable model for other regions across the country,” says Camille Saltman, CONNECT President who will be presenting the initiative at the Summit. “If we can avert offshoring where possible, we retain and restore jobs and economic growth. At the same time we help life science and technology companies survive the gap between starting-up and revenue – they accelerate time to market, reduce risks and cost and access top talent.”

CONNECT’s Nearsourcing program includes workshops that educate the region’s innovation entrepreneurs on the benefits of contracting with local manufacturers and a matchmaking program that helps San Diego innovation companies in need of outsourcing to “Look Near First” – to contract with qualified San Diego production resources. The program ensures that job creation stays in the San Diego region. The program also includes initiatives to market San Diego’s production capabilities to incoming conventions and help local supply chains network, innovate and compete internationally.

Gathering in large plenary sessions and smaller working groups, attendees ranging from Fortune 500 CEOs to mayors will discuss and publicly commit to innovative solutions that prepare Americans to be competitive in the global economy. The Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, will be part of the plenary session Place-Based Innovation: Creating Centers of Prosperity on the first day of the Summit.

“CGI America is interested in exploring how San Diego has built the country’s most richly diverse innovation economy and how we can be a model for other regions,” says Sanders. “There is a great interest in the productive and highly collaborative relationship between the City of San Diego and our universities, research institutions, industry and service providers. The close proximity of our research institutions and clusters in life sciences, communications, software, wireless, clean tech and defense have led to groundbreaking new convergence clusters in mobile health, analytics, genomics, biofuels, cyber security and robotics – plus our world renown capabilities in action and sports.”

In addition to Advanced Manufacturing there are a total of 12 Working Groups convening at the Summit including Clean Electricity and Efficiency, Clean Fuel and Transportation, Early Childhood Education, Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion, Housing Recovery, Reconnecting Youth, Small Business, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Education, Wellness, and Workforce Development.

CGI America and CONNECT have identified advanced manufacturing as a cornerstone of America’s economy. In February CONNECT’s Innovation Institute published a series of white papers entitled “Innovation, Production, and Sustainable Job Creation: Reviving U.S. Prosperity.” The research was funded by the Waitt Foundation and outlines concrete strategies to retain and restore U.S. production. See white papers here.

The CONNECT Nearsourcing Initiative is led by a Steering Committee of Production Cluster leaders including D&K Engineering, Pharmatek, Outsource Manufacturing, Inc., Invetech, BIT MedTech, Althea Technologies, Solekai Systems, DD Studio, Logic PD, Clarity Design, the East County Economic Development Council, which owns and operates the Connectory – a database of 5,600 local production companies, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and contracting and intellectual property experts from Sheppard Mullin and Squar Milner.

Over its 26-year history, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies in the San Diego region and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for commercialization of innovative companies in high tech and life sciences.

The program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world. CONNECT has been recognized by TIME, Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines and in 2011 won the national State Science and Technology Institute’s 2011 Excellence in Tech Based Economic Development Award for Building Entrepreneurial Capacity. In 2010 CONNECT was the recipient of the Innovation in Economic Development Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for creation of Regional Innovation Clusters. CONNECT manages the San Diego, Imperial Valley, Inland SoCal Innovation Hub (iHub) designated by the state of California Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development in 2010. Key to CONNECT’s success has been San Diego’s unique “culture of collaboration” between research organizations, capital sources, professional service providers and the established industries.

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