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GRDadof3

Life Sciences Industry in Grand Rapids

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There was an annual forum at the Van Andel Institute this week regarding Grand Rapids future as a life-sciences region. The Press mentioned that using the industry definition of life-sciences, over 30,000 people are now employed in this industry in Kent County (4th in the country), making it the largest industry in the county (I'm not sure where they get that. I'm sure more than 30,000 are still involved in manufacturing). And with the $1 Billion plus being invested over the next 5+ years, that number will grow tremendously. Although impressive, there are a lot of cities positioning themselves for the same industry. Is this a viable economic engine that they are hoping for? Here are some links to read:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss...6560.xml&coll=6

http://www.rightplace.org/Business/biomed.shtml

http://www.andersoneconomicgroup.com/Proje.../lifesci_mi.pdf

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss...0790.xml&coll=6

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I actually asked a guy in the North Carolina forum who said he worked in biotech if he had ever heard of the Van Andel Institute. He hadn't, but he said he looked it up in some kind of reasource guide he had. It sounded like it was actually doing valueable research, but nothing that was immediately commercially viable. IMO intelectual property that can be taken to market is the only way to truely grow the industry here. What I'd like to see is recruitment of some of the major bio design firms to open an office here to take advantage of our research capabilities; Boston Scientific, Zimmer, Biomet or even Johnson and Johnson (dont they have some kind of office here now?). MSU's med school could also go a long way toward making the region a true viable player in the life science industry as well.

My $.02

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That's one of the things that the article mentioned, was that while the research is huge in this area, the commercialization (the real economic engine) was very lacking. I know Cascade Engineering has started doing some medical components, and there are some spin-off companies from Medtronic that are starting to do more medical and surgical products, but that is just a small start. I agree that some heavy hitters would have to latch on to really get things going.

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Mrs. Granholm, is thinking about the now, and with all the budget cuts she has, she has to cut somewhere. It is all political, you have to understand, the jobs that are leaving Michigan, are jobs from her voter base (the labor vote) which has a heavy presence in Michigan. She has been raising taxes in all the growing service industries, while doing everything she can to retain the jobs from the dying manufacturing industry. Not thinking of the future, she is going to give whoevers the next governor a real headache, when the manufacturing industry goes off life support, dies and gets reborn in Jaurez. But she herself doesn't want the political fallout for the loss of blue collar jobs, that are going to leave here at some point. These line workers are making 80k a year. that's way over paid in my opinion.

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I agree with that. An analysis done lately by leading automotive consultants recently puts the "cost to employer" of the average automotive worker at about $130,000/year (when you include pensions, insurance, workers comp, vacations, etc.). I sure don't cost my employer that much, and I worked and slaved to put myself through college.

Without going off topic, what do you guys and ladies think of California's $3 Bil. bond issue (Prop. 71) to put toward bio-sciences? And what about Granholms $2 Bil. bond initiative here to jump-start the economy? Dangerous investment? Desperate times call for desparate measures?

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Everything I've read says they dont work at all, but I'm definetly in favor of it. I believe that the good coming from things like this isnt the direct companies created with the money (research shows that these companies mostly turn out to fail. This is the exact kind of thing the government will never be any good at), but what this can do is bring talent to the state and build the facilities that companies and universities need. What I really like about the $2B Granholm proposal is that it expands where the money could go to the alturnative energy industry which right now is pretty obviously going to become important in the near future. We need that talent here before anyone else comes up with the same program. This could put the alternative energy industry in michigan where the state was with the life science industry before Granholm came in and screwed it up.

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Maybe Roosevelt Tillman can be one of the entrepreneurs the grand rapids' life science sector needs. This article was posted right next to the pole Jeff just posted but here it is again.

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Mrs. Granholm, is thinking about the now, and with all the budget cuts she has, she has to cut somewhere.

She is thinking as politician. Her only concern at this point is the now, it is her re-election. This is one reason why politicians are ineffective at change - because change is rarely popular.

We need someone who is less concerned with politics and more concerned with the State.

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Since we are the best at manufacturing, when we get something to comercialize you bet that Grand Rapids will greatly benefit...

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9580014/

Article challenging the possibilities for life science growth in places other than Boston, SF bay, San Diego.

Some states are just giving money to get research institues to headquarter in their cities. Article says 1 institue isnt enough, but maybe 2 would be? :D

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A great collection of articles regarding the future of bio-technology and healthcare related needs in Michigan/GR Area over the next 10 years in the Biz Journal today:

http://www.grbj.com/GRBJ/ArticleArchive/Ar...3-74C6C8AF4308}

For those interested :D

BTW: Expected to grow by 20 - 28% by 2012, and info on an interesting new Bioinformatics Masters Program at GVSU.

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To answer the question of whether or not Life Science should be subsidized or invested by the state one needs to examine its opportunity cost or the cost of forgoing other opportunities. I would agree, given the aging of the population and the correlated growth in demand for Life science, this is definitely a growth industry. On the other hand, manufacturing is also a growth industry, but its growth is reserved for areas with cheap labor cost, which our state does not have. Life Sciences will never be to the Michigan economy what manufacturing has been...at least not in our lifetime. Thus, I think the opportunity cost of diverting resources to life sciences is not the wisest move to make in the short or long term.

I think Michigan needs a massive beatification effort by the government. The state needs to take its natural amenities; especially the massive lakes shores and make this state a vacation destination spot. I once heard someone say that vacation hot spots are also relocation hot spots as a general rule.

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In related news, Van Andel Institute has obtained its first commercial license for a project that they have been working on for four years:

Oddly enough, they are selling a software package...

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I actually asked a guy in the North Carolina forum who said he worked in biotech if he had ever heard of the Van Andel Institute. He hadn't, but he said he looked it up in some kind of reasource guide he had.

It is the second most well funded research institute in the world - how could he have missed that. Not to mention it is run by the previous director of the National Cancer Institute, as well as the more than handful of Nobel laurets that are on the board...

How could he have really missed that?

Whatever the case, you have to look beyond VAI. Spectrum is one of the largest hospitals in the nation and regularly ranks in the top 25 across most service catagories. St. Mary's is also not a slouch in terms of performance for its size and funding level. The new additions will push Spectrum to near the top in terms of service and size - ideal for a research and training hospital.

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How could he have really missed that?

Whatever the case, you have to look beyond VAI. Spectrum is one of the largest hospitals in the nation and regularly ranks in the top 25 across most service catagories. St. Mary's is also not a slouch in terms of performance for its size and funding level. The new additions will push Spectrum to near the top in terms of service and size - ideal for a research and training hospital.

I am a big supporter of GR, but lets be real here. Spectrum is not even in the top three in Michigan for the largest and most specialized hospitals (UM, Beaumont, Henry Ford). US News last month reported on the top specialty hopitals (Cancer, Heart, Neuro, etc.) and not once was Spectrum listed. UM, Beaumont, and Henry Ford were listed almost every time. I think when MSU moves in it should really help Spectrum nationally, but in the mean time Spectrum is only the best hospital on the west side of the state.

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I am a big supporter of GR, but lets be real here. Spectrum is not even in the top three in Michigan for the largest and most specialized hospitals (UM, Beaumont, Henry Ford). US News last month reported on the top specialty hopitals (Cancer, Heart, Neuro, etc.) and not once was Spectrum listed. UM, Beaumont, and Henry Ford were listed almost every time. I think when MSU moves in it should really help Spectrum nationally, but in the mean time Spectrum is only the best hospital on the west side of the state.

It really comes down to what discipline are you talking about? For a lot of things there are other hospitals that have better care.

However, one area that I have had a lot of experience with is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Spectrum is by far the best NICU in the state and probably top 5 in the nation. The sickest babies in the state end up at Spectrum.

There is only one procedure that Spectrum can't do that Beaumont can. It's a Retinopathy of Prematurity surgery on the eyes. There are only a handfull of docs in the US that can do it.

I don't wish for my worst enemy to have to visit the NICU for any reason. But if you have to, rest assured we have some of the best care in the U.S.

Thank you Gerber Foundation and Thank you Devos family.

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It really comes down to what discipline are you talking about? For a lot of things there are other hospitals that have better care.

However, one area that I have had a lot of experience with is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Spectrum is by far the best NICU in the state and probably top 5 in the nation. The sickest babies in the state end up at Spectrum.

There is only one procedure that Spectrum can't do that Beaumont can. It's a Retinopathy of Prematurity surgery on the eyes. There are only a handfull of docs in the US that can do it.

I don't wish for my worst enemy to have to visit the NICU for any reason. But if you have to, rest assured we have some of the best care in the U.S.

Thank you Gerber Foundation and Thank you Devos family.

And with the new children's hospital addition, that part of Spectrum is going to get better as well.

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It is the second most well funded research institute in the world - how could he have missed that. Not to mention it is run by the previous director of the National Cancer Institute, as well as the more than handful of Nobel laurets that are on the board...

How could he have really missed that?

Quick name the top funded research institute in the world.

You can't can, you?

VAI may be working toward becoming a world player, but it's not even on the same page as the big-guns with respect to notoriety (yet).

Rather than getting defensive and thinking some schmoe from North Carolina should have heard of it, just accept that it's going to be 20 years before it has the reputation of something like The Hutch.

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I believe the Salk is the top funded private research institute right now.

Noteriety - no - funding - world class. $4 billion+ goes a long way.

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, just accept that it's going to be 20 years before it has the reputation of something like The Hutch.

Never heard of it. :D (really)

You're right, it does not have the notoriety, and I'd be surprised if 1/2 of Michiganians have heard of it.

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Xceed Molecular launches strategic collaboration

..with the new Center for Molecular Medicine of Grand Rapids. I don't understand the technology, or the significance, but it made Forbes, the Boston Business Journal, Pharmalive, and a number of other online publications.

Xceed Molecular

Center for Molecular Medicine - Grand Rapids

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