How GR Will Top The VAI
In the first 10 weeks of each New Year, Grand Rapids Business Journal provides readers with a 10-part series reviewing the accomplishments of the greater Grand Rapids business community, culminating with the announcement of Grand Rapids Business Journal Newsmaker of the Year. The timing of the announcement allows the editorial panel to underscore the most important aspect of the award: long-term significance.
All top 10, culled from a nomination list five times as long, surely depict the diversity and strength of the metropolitan area’s economic base. The accomplishments of the past year include:
The largest philanthropic research effort in history, the Van Andel Institute, is the Newsmaker of the Year, not for the size of the gift but for the incredible, unimaginable size of the impact.
The Van Andel Institute is the spur of the Michigan Life Sciences corridor, a stretch of bio-medical research universities, institutes and businesses stretching from Michigan Street in downtown Grand Rapids through East Lansing, Ann Arbor and to Detroit.
The VAI is now home to more than 80 scientific researchers and scientists, all acknowledged as the best in their fields of study. And more, the VAI is home to an educational institute. This aspect of the Institute not only encompasses graduate level programs, but emphasis in K-12 education, and already has a partner with Grand Rapids’ Alger Elementary School
Some in the community have asked whether the story of the VAI can ever be topped. But that is exactly the idea. It is only the beginning.