North County Communities Unveil “Innovate 78” Plan

The plan aims to better position the North County cities along the 78 corridor for economic growth

San Diego’s North County communities came together Tuesday to unveil a new economic development plan dubbed “Innovate 78.”

The plan centers on San Diego’s 78 corridor, which links together the cities of Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista, and aims to better position the communities along the common corridor for prosperity, innovation and economic development.

The five North County cities have been working together for the past two years to brand the area along the 78 and maximize business retention, expansion, recruitment and local job creation.

The county is home to more than 600,000 residents and tens of thousands of businesses.

The plan was unveiled at a media briefing at Cal State University San Marcos attended by more than 100 local business owners, plus the mayors from all five cities.

Bio-tech and beer are two of the industries that have strong reputations in the North County.

“From biotech to sports innovation and beer, Innovate 78 is a place where innovation and lifestyle collide,” organizers said.

San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond said the idea is to work together to grow industries like those rather than competing between the cities.

“Not one city can provide everything,” said Desmond. “We realized a business in Vista is good for San Marcos. A business in Escondido is good for Carlsbad. So, we find that synergy exists and we're trying to capitalize on that.”

There is no real timeline on the project.

Rather, Desmond said this is more of a long term idea that will focus on job growth, luring new businesses, and communication between the cities.

A new “Innovate 78” website has also been launched, highlighting the many “business, lifestyle and educational opportunities” available throughout the region.

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