Wisconsin stays at the forefront in R&D
Businesses that Benefit from Community Investment in R&D
Excerpted from Trade & Industry Development
By Jennifer Alten
From individual companies to small communities to entire states, research and development is the fuel behind business drivers and economic engines.
Wisconsin Stays at the Forefront in R&D
Janesville, in southern Wisconsin on the Illinois border, is on the forefront of nuclear medicine. Two companies, SHINE Medical Technologies and NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, have both announced plans to build facilities in the area. The companies want to fill a void expected when two other nuclear reactors, located in Canada and the Netherlands, that use highly enriched uranium to produce isotopes are taken out of service in 2016 and 2020. NorthStar and SHINE Medicare are two of three U.S. companies supported by the National Nuclear Security Administration as it pushes for a more reliable and diverse supply of Mo-99, a medical isotope primarily used for detecting heart disease and determining stages of cancer progression.
SHINE Medical Technologies signed a $125 million deal to build a $100 million manufacturing plant on Janesville’s south side. When it opens in 2017, the plant is expected to produce more than a quarter of world supply for Mo-99, the most commonly used isotope in nuclear medicine. SHINE plans to use low-enriched uranium in a series of eight accelerators to produce the isotope, which is used in more than 30 kinds of diagnostic imaging procedures and more than 40 million medical imaging tests each year. SHINE expects to bring at least 125 high-paying jobs to the area.
In July 2014, NorthStar Medical broke ground on a 50,000 square-foot facility in nearby Beloit that will house the company’s headquarters and activities related to the production of the Mo-99. Within the next four years, NorthStar expects to have approximately 165 employees working at its Beloit corporate campus. The company signed a letter of intent with GE Healthcare as a distributor of Mo-99.
According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development manager, “This is an exciting project that is contributing toward reshaping, as well as redefining, the economic landscape of the Janesville-Beloit MSA . Rock County’s economy in increasingly populated with firms that are developing and conducting industry leading technology applications.”
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