Health + Life Sciences

From personalized apps to specialized devices and pioneering nanotechnologies, keeping people healthy is a core focus of the Central Coast economy.

A thriving cluster of med-tech companies are forging the future of healthcare through development and production of biometric markers, enzymes, surgical biomaterials and cutting-edge medical devices.

Healthcare delivery, meanwhile, is a bedrock of the local economy, encompassing several of the region’s largest employers and thousands of healthcare professionals working to keep the population fit and healthy.


1 in 10

of all regional jobs are in healthcare


regional biotech + biomedical device companies


regional biotech + biomed jobs


UC-Santa Barbara

UCSB’s top-ranked science programs include biomolecular science and engineering as well as a trio of multidisciplinary research programs: the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, the Neuroscience Research Institute and the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering.

Cal Poly

Cal Poly’s biomedical engineering major, developed in consultation with industry leaders, gives students hands-on experience growing tissue-engineered blood vessels, designing prosthetics for wounded veterans and experimenting with emerging imaging technology.

MedTech incubator

The Cal Poly CIE Incubator program is establishing a med-tech focused vertical offering a range of services to support and scale health and life science startups. The location will also house an SBDC outreach center.


Allan Hancock College

Allan Hancock offers Health Sciences studies in nursing, medical assisting and dental assisting, as well as related programs in kinesiology, sports medicine and nutrition. 

Cuesta College

Cuesta offers a robust Nursing + Allied Health program, training nurses, EMTs, paramedics and phlebotomists. Its psychiatric tech program is ranked #1 by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.

Santa Barbara City College

The healthcare and wellness programs at SBCC include biomedical sciences, nursing, EMT, health information technology, healthcare data analytics, medical coding and more.

Health + Life Science businesses

Explore the map below to discover the breadth of health + life science operations in the region.