skip to Main Content

Report: Military remains economic bright spot in San Diego

Design Lab member Michael Meyer discusses San Diego's defense economy during Covid with ABC 10 News San Diego.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have been no match for San Diego's defense economy, which a new report says keeps on growing.

The San Diego Military Advisory Council study says from the fiscal year 2020 to 2021, direct defense spending was $35.3 billion dollars, a 5.3 percent annual gain. Jobs grew 2 percent to nearly 349,112. In all, it made for a $55.2 billion dollar gross regional product.

"That means continued stability and economic prosperity for San Diego, buffered by, or provided by the military economy presence," said Michael Meyer, a professor at UC San Diego's Rady School of Management, which researched the report.

The study points out that military spending impacts more than the people employed by the federal government or serving on base or active duty. Instead, there's a multiplier effect in San Diego, with nearly 190,000 San Diegans employed by private companies contracting with the defense department -- such as in programming or shipbuilding.

"Retraining for electronics, computers, aviation, the engineering fields, the technical financial fields. That's all valuable and an effective way of getting into the military economy," Meyer said.
Design Lab’s Edward Wang Wins NIH R21 For Work On Smartphone-based Alzheimer’s Screening

Design Lab’s Edward Wang wins NIH R21 for work on Smartphone-based Alzheimer’s Screening

Design Lab’s Edward Wang, who is a jointly appointed professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering in Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, wins a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R21 through the National Institute of Aging (NIA) for his work around transforming smartphones into pocket-sized personal health monitors. 

The NIA has selected Design Lab’s Edward Wang, who directs the Ubiquitous Data and Computing Lab, to receive NIH R21 funding for his work with Co-investigator Eric Granholm, Director of UCSD’s Center for Mental Health Technology (MHTech), to develop a smartphone app that can screen for early signs of cognitive decline indicative of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). An NIH R21, also known as the Exploratory/Development Grant, provides support in the early and conceptual stages of a project’s development. As part of a national push towards combating the debilitating effects of AD, the National Institute of Aging looked towards funding novel ways to screen for AD through the use of digital technologies. 
UC San Diego Health Launches New Center To Spur Patient-Centered Technologies

UC San Diego Health Launches New Center to Spur Patient-Centered Technologies

On behalf of UCSD Design Lab and the Center for Health Design, we’re excited to support the launch of this collaborative innovation ecosystem designing healthcare with our community. From tele-monitoring patients with diabetes to using artificial intelligence to prevent sepsis, the newly launched Center for Health Innovation at UC San Diego Health will seek to develop, test and commercialize technologies that make a real, measurable difference in the lives and wellbeing of patients.

The new Center for Health Innovation will be located on the La Jolla campus of UC San Diego. Collaborators will include the UC San Diego Design Lab, Qualcomm Institute and Jacobs School of Engineering. It is modeled after the University Health Network’s (UHN) Techna Institute, jointly located within the organization’s hospital sites and at the University of Toronto, and has designed numerous products now used in hospitals and clinics.

“Doctors, nurses and medical teams know best where there are existing technology gaps in patient care,” said Christopher Longhurst, MD, chief information officer, UC San Diego Health. “With our proximity to the health and biotech sector as well as the cross-border region, the number of collaborative opportunities are immense.”

To learn more about the Center for Health Innovation, visit
UC San Diego Receives Community-Engaged Research Grant

UC San Diego Receives Community-Engaged Research Grant

Design Lab Member Lilly Irani has been awarded the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Community-Engaged Research Grant. This funding will assist the United Taxi Workers San Diego team in their community-engaged research on community-accountable, employee-driven technology entrepreneurship in San Diego.

“We’re excited to support community engagement in the research process through this grant portfolio. These six projects aim to build equitable, collaborative, solution-driven initiatives between communities and researchers with the potential to advance inclusive prosperity through entrepreneurship.” — Chhaya Kolavalli, Senior Program Officer, Knowledge Creation & Research, Entrepreneurship

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Kansas City, Mo., that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation uses its $3 billion in assets to change conditions, address root causes, and breakdown systemic barriers so that all people–regardless of race, gender, or geography–have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity. For more information, and connect with us at and
San Diego Profs Tackle Dying Oceans

San Diego profs tackle dying oceans and idea cross-pollination at global exhibition

San Diego Union Tribune

Design Lab member and Visual Arts Professor Pinar Yoldas joins the 2021 Venice Biennale to promote discussion of dying oceans and idea cross-pollination through a global exhibition.

This summer, 112 artists and architectural teams from around the world were invited to the annual Venice Biennale in Italy to create artworks that answer the forward-thinking question: “How will we live together?” Two of the invitees to this prestigious exhibition are from San Diego.

Pinar Yoldas, a multidisciplinary art professor at UC San Diego, took an imaginative look at what the world’s endangered oceans might look like in 30 years, while Daniel López-Pérez, a founding faculty member for the architecture program at the University of San Diego, studied the global dialogue of ideas inside a spherical structure inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller’s geoscope design.
Back To Top