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Tri-Cities Research District

Medtech leaders discuss the hurdles and opportunities on the horizon for medical device companies in the coming year and beyond.

BUSINESS PLANNING & TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT


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Holographic ultrasound technology is at the core of the Aria breast imaging system by Advanced Imaging Technologies, one of four medical device firms located in the .

High-tech ventures in the (Richland, WA) know how to squeeze every bit of value from the resources around them. One of the most strategic resources at the research district is the location itself. The 1600-acre research park, tucked into the sunny southeastern corner of Washington State, won a designation and funding last year as one of the state's innovation partnership zones. With nearly 800 acres available for development, its 80-plus companies employ more than 7000 people, housed in 1 million sq ft of building space.

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Brachytherapy prostate seeds made by IsoRay Medical deliver high energy in a short time period.

Tenants can access 40 organizations that offer everything from intellectual property to business incubation space. One tenant, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has provided tenants and hundreds more tech firms with technology for licensing, free technology and business assistance, and access to some of the world's most sophisticated analytical instrumentation. Another tenant, Washington State University Tri-Cities, offers opportunities for research collaboration, interns, access to a bioproducts facility, and business counseling.

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The patented orthopedic implant system created by Tri-Cities tenant Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN) improves the quality of fracture care, particularly in regions where electricity and live imaging technologies may be unavailable.

When tenants need to rejuvenate brain cells, recreation is right outside their doors. While strolling on scenic paths along the Columbia River that borders the research district, employees may glimpse deer and blue herons, as well as boaters and picnickers.

Four medical device firms call the research district home. Advanced Imaging Technologies developed the award-winning Aria breast imaging system for enhanced imaging of dense breast tissue. IsoRay Medical, a public company, makes Proxcelan brachytherapy seeds, using cesium 131, a medical isotope that delivers high energy over a short period of time. A nonprofit organization, Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN), designs, manufactures, and donates its patented orthopedic implant system to hospitals in 49 developing countries. And XL Sci-Tech is pioneering MicroSeeds, a timed bioabsorbable microsphere-nanosphere for cancer treatment.

Since 2007, a 15-member board of stakeholders has directed the research district's planning and development. The board recently unveiled an ambitious plan for the next phase of the research district's growth.

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