At the risk of sounding dramatic, it is exciting and a little overwhelming that our region is set to dance in the spotlight on the world stage by changing our understanding of the universe and answering questions on the impact of elements in the cosmos. I know, right?
There had been much discussion regarding the FRIB, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, when it was announced that it would be built and managed by a very capable team on Michigan State University’s campus. Although many of us had no idea what it actually meant for the world of science, as a business community, we understand how a major investment in the region can have a tremendous ripple effect. After all, it isn’t every day that three quarters of a billion dollars makes its way into our most deserving, willing and able community.
Since then, there were spinoff businesses built, creating a landscape that will have a major effect on how we are viewed regionally. We all know that Michigan hasn’t always enjoyed a positive brand. Remember the “rust belt” of the 80s, the more recent auto sector and Detroit bankruptcies and now the Flint water crisis. And, it always seems that Michigan enters the economic downturn or recession first. I’ve grown tired of letting these news stories define our state and our region.
Lansing may not be able to reform the entire state’s brand identity, but our region is on the precipice of a big change. And, the opportunity to utilize the FRIB and the many other businesses providing scientific solutions and tools is great, and can be stretched to other scientists around the world. A “comeback” state will no longer be what we are known for. We can drive the discussion to build the brand. We can define it for ourselves.
The assets we have as well as those we continue to nurture and grow, will give us more than we need to put our region’s success on the map – with a gold star. Pay attention to the ongoing scientific nuclear evolution – it’s happening just down the road, around the block and across town.
What excites me the most about what is to come is the collaboration of so many community organizations. Stay tuned.
Be dynamic in all you do,