The future is happening in Los Angeles today. From cutting-edge engineering and technical innovation (rockets, cars, and medical research) to complex public-policy issues (affordable housing, congestion, and inequality). These opportunities and challenges are as broad and diverse as the region’s population, placing Los Angeles at the forefront of a global economy that must find ways to generate economic growth, quality jobs, and a sustainable planet.

Despite a popular perception that Los Angeles is unfriendly to business, skilled talent continues to migrate to the region from all around the world, and hundreds of thousands of students continue to attend its institutions of higher learning. More engineering graduates are being produced in Los Angeles than any other part of California. To match this growing ambition and to stimulate the creation of more quality jobs, Los Angeles is investing and retrofitting its aging infrastructure. More than $50 billion will be invested throughout the next 25 years. In the last five years alone, $4 billion has been invested in modernization projects at the Los Angeles International Airport, with $8 billion more to come. At the Port of Los Angeles, $2.5 billion has been spent on improvements. While throughout the region, $14 billion is being spent on new transit lines, buses, and highway improvements.

This doesn’t include an additional $120 billion in direct spending on transit projects if voters agree on a 1 cent transit sales tax measure proposed for the November ballot. These projects are improving the quality of life for everyone

living in, or visiting, the region, in addition to supporting L.A.’s leading role as a facilitator of goods to the rest of the nation and globe.

What’s more, Los Angeles is looking to leverage its dense population to grow its globally competitive and knowledge-based industries, including technology, design, entertainment, and biotech, to name a few. These industries thrive on the clustering of workers who share ideas and expertise and succeed because of a collaborative network that includes private- sector capital, public agencies, universities, corporations, and skilled workers.

That is why Los Angeles matters. Through invention, engineering, and discovery, it is once again embracing its heritage and leveraging its location at the center of the world’s global economy.

Now is the time to invest in Los Angeles and below are three great opportunities:

Internet. Today well over 40 percent of humanity is online. BCG, a consultancy firm, reckons that the internet will account for 5.3 percent of GDP of the world’s 20 biggest economies this year, or $4.2 trillion. The Internet of Things is a $340 billion market, and over the next four years it will total almost $500 billion. L.A.’s ecosystem is ground zero for investment opportunities linked to business, digital media, and e-commerce. Venture capital is taking notice and directing investments into technology and software in the region, more than three times the amount invested in L.A.’s media and entertainment industries. On the sustainability level, companies are using data from connected equipment – wind turbines, street lighting, cars, and buildings – to deliver new insights and create value around operational efficiency, increased productivity, and new customer solutions. The results are huge in terms of opportunities to make money, and to make our lives better and more efficient.

Space. Humanity’s relationship with space is being reimagined in Los Angeles. That means the sky is no longer the limit as technological advancements drive down costs and increase competition for commercial space activity. The most noticeable game-changers are the development of reusable rockets, additive manufacturing, and the repurposing of hardware first developed by aerospace companies for other industries. These innovations are creating well-paying jobs (averaging $105,715) in Los Angeles. More than 6,000 jobs alone over the past decade are linked to the production of guided missiles and space vehicles. On the funding side, a handful of entrepreneurs are going after what is now being called “new space,” which some analysts expect to be a $600 billion industry by 2030.

Ocean. Covering 72 percent of the Earth and supplying half of its oxygen, the ocean is our planet’s life-support system. It regulates our weather and climate, and feeds 3.5 billion people as a primary source of protein. A recent report showed that global carbon emissions are lowering pH and reducing oxygen levels in the Pacific. To counter these changes, entrepreneurs in Los Angeles are creating ventures, with the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Shellfish Initiative and USC, to increase commercial shellfish aquaculture, while improving ecosystem health. Aerospace is also developing advanced robotic probes to help explore parts of the ocean unwelcoming to humans, which will stimulate further research and business opportunities.

The world moves forward because people keep coming up with new ways of doing things. With the right investments today, Los Angeles is helping not only itself, but the world in which we all live.

Michael H. Kelly is executive director of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs. Kevin Klowden is executive director of the California Center at the Milken Institute.