A New Method for Medical Isotopes
Shine Medical Technologies started in 2010 when founder Greg Piefer, with a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering from UW-Madison, patented a new method for producing medical isotopes used in common medical procedures without needing a nuclear reactor. Currently most of these isotopes are produced by two companies in Canada and the Netherlands using aging reactors, so the discovery held significant commercialization potential. The company is in the midst of raising investment capital and pursuing regulatory approval for its nuclear energy license, which will allow Shine to break ground on its production facility. When complete, the plant will employ approximately 150 people.
No Nuclear Reactor Needed
The state, through WEDC, stepped in to offer Shine investment tax credits (refundable tax credits based on job creation and capital investment) and also guaranteed a $4 million private loan for equipment expenditures and construction. The new facility will be built in Janesville, with construction slated to begin in 2014 when regulatory approval is anticipated. According to Piefer, the public-private partnership model Wisconsin uses in fueling startups has been crucial to Shine’s growth and commitment to locate in Wisconsin. He reports that the company chose Janesville due to airport proximity; the low earthquake risk and deep water table needed for nuclear operations; the ability to recruit qualified employees and the cooperation of city and state leaders throughout the process.