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.

Recent Highlights

Wyatt Technology acquired for $1.3 billion

Wyatt’s scientists were the first to commercialize on-line multi-angle laser light scattering instruments and have been defining state-of-the-art macromolecular characterization instrumentation, software, and services since.

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Cognixion among Amazon’s Alexa Fund-backed startups on display at CES 2023

Seeking to help people affected by speech disabilities or cognitive impairments, the company provides affordable and accessible AI-based technologies like the Cognixion ONE “Assisted Reality” headset.

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Promega a 2023 Top Workplaces USA Award Winner

With R&D in San Luis Obispo, the biotechnology manufacturer — a core supplier in the fight against COVID-19 — was named as a top employer in the United States for the second year in a row.

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Device that could save the lives of thousands of new mothers earned a startup a $240 million exit

Alydia Health, which developed a device to treat postpartum hemorrhaging while part of the SLO Hothouse incubator, was acquired by a Merck spinoff.

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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.


biotech + biomed jobs


of all regional jobs are in healthcare


biotech + biomed companies

Health + Life Science companies

Select the dots to see companies in the region, and find detailed company, industry and regional data in our data center.

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