MSU GRIP: Collaboration Over Competition | Rockford Construction
Mike Mraz 

MSU GRIP: Collaboration Over Competition

Across the world, fans flooded into stadiums, pubs and living rooms to watch as international teams competed for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Soccer played on the world stage is a stunning lesson in teamwork. We watch as athletes pour precision, grit and mastery into every move and make quick-fire decisions that rely on their ability and the abilities of the team members around them. As the ball advances up the field, teammates stay in constant motion, recalibrating with every pass, block and call how to get to the goal.

While it is the competition that makes the athlete, it is the collaboration that makes the winning team.

Off the field, leaders in every market face massive, sometimes daunting goals that promise to change the way we live, learn and heal. While Rockford continually looks for the latest innovations and quality to surpass our competition, we sometimes open spots on our roster and invite other companies to join our team. This shows that thought leaders can find solutions and perform more efficiently and effectively if they lead with transparency and collaboration. In the world of healthcare, embracing this model is vital, especially when facing the future of cancer research, disease treatment and prevention, and artificial intelligence.

Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park (GRIP) is a project that carries the message of teamwork from start to finish. The 200,000-sq.-ft. building will be located next to the existing MSU Grand Rapids Research Center. The project also includes a 600-car parking structure. Poised to break ground in October, the building will house tenants who are leading the future of healthcare and create a space for collaboration, innovation and discovery to prosper. Pushing each other forward towards a common goal, the tenants — ranging from academic medicine to healthcare delivery systems — aim to find the best solutions faced by modern medicine. The building is slated to open in fall 2021.



A true example of collaboration is the fact that while competing for the RFP to develop, build and manage the project, Rockford decided to form a joint venture with two firms from Chicago who were also interested in the project. We offered MSU a project team that was equipped to deliver a final product that reflects both GRIP’s mission and the standout strengths of each firm. MB Real Estate, Walsh Investors, and Walsh Construction, along with our One Rockford platform, have been working alongside each other for nearly a year to design and develop this important project. More will be in the news in the coming months, including additional information about specific tenants and renderings showcasing the project. I am proud of our team members who have worked on the project to date and look forward to working with many more who will have a hand in advancing the healthcare landscape.

Whether it is the winning goal or the cure that could save a life, significant and life-changing accomplishments are rarely made alone. By focusing on strengthening the team, we elevate the playing field and ensure we find the best solutions — together.

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