Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Economic Development Office

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update

November 2007


Richland company inks $60 million deal with Dow Corning

IET Logo

Integrated Environmental Technologies, LLC, Richland, Wash., is providing Dow Corning Corporation with the nation's first plasma-based gasification process for recycling hazardous waste at a chemical manufacturing facility. With a $60 million, ten-year contract from Dow Corning, IET will build and install its patented Plasma Enhanced Melter� system at Dow Corning's plant in Midland, Mich., and hire Veolia Environmental Services to operate it. The technology will be used to recycle 100 percent of the plant's waste, converting more than 6,600 tons per year of hazardous chlorinated organic liquid waste into 12 million pounds per year of aqueous hydrochloric acid and 10.5 million BTU per hour of clean synthesis gas. The recycled materials will replace raw materials that Dow would otherwise purchase to make its silicon and solar cell products. Recycling also eliminates offsite transportation and incineration of hazardous waste. When fully operational in mid-2008, the melter system also will substantially reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions. IET's plasma gasification systems are sold and operated in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and soon, Malaysia. Contact Jeff Surma or (509) 946-5700.

Strategic alliance expands worldwide markets for cancer treatment


IsoRay Medical, Inc., a subsidiary of IsoRay, Inc. (AMEX: ISR), has signed a letter of intent to form a strategic alliance with a Belgian company for research and development, worldwide marketing, and sales of medical isotopes to treat prostate cancer and other malignant tissue cancers. IsoRay, of Richland, Wash., will collaborate with International Brachytherapy SA, a manufacturer and distributor of brachytherapy products worldwide. Both companies will market IsoRay's Cesium-131 and Iodine-125 brachytherapy "seeds" in Russia, with planned distribution of IsoRay's Proxcelan� Cesium-131 product in 19 European countries. IsoRay also will continue to develop a new generation of Cesium-131 brachytherapy sources using International Brachytherapy's polymer seed technology and automated manufacturing processes. Contact Roger Girard at (509) 375-1202.

Kennewick firm signs contract to provide medical isotopes to Kadlec Medical Center

Kadlec PET scan at Kadlec Medical Center

Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (Pink Sheets:ADMD) has finalized a sole-source contract with Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Wash., to supply Kadlec with medical isotopes for all of its diagnostic and therapeutic needs. The Kennewick, Wash., company will produce and supply the most common isotopes for Positron Emission Tomography, such as fluorine-18, nitrogen-13, carbon-11, and oxygen-15, and also longer-lived diagnostic isotopes such as iodine-123 and indium-111 for other uses. Contact James C. Katzaroff at (509) 736-4000.

New crop protection firm "grows" sustainable products

A crop protection firm that started in April 2007 has already landed national agricultural companies as customers. Blake Solutions, LLC, is established in the high-tech business incubator known as the Applied Process Engineering Laboratory in Richland, Wash. The fledgling firm is headed by Robert Venable, formerly Director of Biosciences at Northwest Agricultural Products in Pasco, and is named after his son, Blake. The firm develops formulation and fermentation recipes that are used to make prototype products that help protect vegetable, fruit, and grain crops from pests and promote plant health, with an emphasis on environmentally sustainable treatments. Blake Solutions works with customers from concept to process development to develop new products and improve existing ones. Contact Robert Venable at (509) 551-5916.

Weapons-detection scanner begins testing in U.S. airports


A technology from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Wash., is the basis for an innovative security system that has begun screening passengers at U.S. airports. The ProVision system, a walk-through portal, uses harmless millimeter waves to form images of hidden metallic and non-metallic weapons on people, without x-rays, hand-held wands, or pat-downs. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration bought eight ProVision systems from New-York-based L3-Communications for $1.7 million. The government began testing at the Phoenix airport in October, with subsequent testing planned at Los Angeles and New York's Kennedy airports. Doug McMakin, whose team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory invented the technology that was eventually licensed to SafeView/L-3 Communications, received the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Homeland Security award in October. L-3 Communications has deployed more than 100 ProVision systems worldwide in airports, subways, border crossings, and government and commercial buildings. Contact Staci West at (509) 372-6313. More Iinformation . . . .

Viper aircraft soars


Viper Aircraft Corporation, which has sold 23 of its Viperjet� Mark II kit planes nationwide, is preparing its first export-a kit plane for a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family. The eight-employee company in Pasco, Wash. designs and sells a twin-seater jet from a kit. The planes reach altitudes of 28,000 feet, fly at more than 500 miles per hour, and contain the same high-tech navigation systems as corporate jets. The Viperjet sells for about $800,000. Viper Aircraft focuses its marketing on business executives, many of whom already own corporate jets. The company will launch a spinoff business in November, Zero Gravity Builders Studio, where customers and builders can use advanced equipment to assemble kit planes and receive assistance from specialists. The new company will lease the 8,500-square-foot space in two buildings at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, adjacent to Viper Aircraft's existing space. Contact Dan Hanchette at (509) 543-3570.

Two Tri-Citians named among state's top 25 innovators

Maury White, Infinia
Maury White, Infinia
Don Stevens, PNNL
Don Stevens, PNNL

In its October 2007 issue, Seattle Business Monthly magazine named Maury White from Infinia Corporation and Don Stevens from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory among its Top 25 Innovators & Entrepreneurs for 2007. The magazine selected the 25 "emerging talents" based on recommendations from venture capitalists, academics, trade groups, and business leaders from various industries. Maury, Infinia's Chief Technology Officer and one of its founders, helped develop the Kennewick, Wash. company's Stirling engine technology for solar-electric generators, combined heat and power systems, and emerging-nation rural electrification. Don, a Senior Project Manager and chemist at Pacific PNNL, Richland, Wash., is devising ways to convert cellulose-based byproducts, like poplar trees and corn stalks, into biomass-based fuel and products. More information . . .

Manufacturers honored

Parsons Parsons, Pasco, Wash.

Two Tri-Cities companies received special honors at the SmartMap Expo in Kennewick, Wash. in October. Parsons Technology Development and Fabrication Complex of Pasco, Wash., was selected as the Manufacturer of the Year at the TRIDEC Manufacturing Appreciation Luncheon. Parsons specializes in specialty precision and exotic metal manufacturing, alloy fabrication and general fabrication. Infinia Corporation, Kenn., Wash., received an Export Achievement Award from Janet Bauermeister, U.S. Commercial Service, Spokane. Infinia has licensing agreements with firms in Holland, Germany, Italy, and Japan for its one-kilowatt engine technology for combined heat and power appliances and is working on a system for developing countries such as Bangladesh. Contact Gary A. White at (509) 735-1000.

InnovaTek featured in Washington Technology Center's annual report


Washington Technology Center's 2007 annual report features InnovaTek, Inc. as an example of a technology firm that received assistance from WTC. Richland-based InnovaTek creates and develops technologies related to environmental safety and sustainable power. The report also mentions Cadwell Laboratories, Inc., Kennewick, and Suzanne Mitchell, WTC's Outreach Manager for Eastern Washington, who also serves as Director of the Applied Process Engineering Laboratory in Richland, the high-tech incubator where InnovaTek resides. Download the report

Tri-Cities Research District designated as Innovation Partnership Zone

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire

In October, Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire designated the newly formed Tri-Cities Research District as one of 11 Innovation Partnership Zones in the state. The Tri-Cities Innovation Zone shares the boundaries of the Tri-Cities Research District, a 1,600-acre area in North Richland that includes Washington State University Tri-Cities, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and more than 80 other businesses and organizations. The Research District will emphasize research and development with sustainability applications. More Information . . . Contact Diahann Howard at (509) 375-3060.

Opportunities and Tools

Free technology assistance for qualifying businesses


Does your business have a technical challenge, an emerging product, or a new product idea that could benefit from expertise at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory? You may be eligible for up to a week of free technology assistance from PNNL scientists or engineers. Through world-class expertise from the 4,000-person U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory, businesses in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere can get research help in energy, environmental protection, medical and biotechnology, instrumentation and electronics, information technology, agriculture, and other areas. Examples in the past two years have included biofuel system development, a process control and data acquisition system for a sustainable energy product, cost-benefit analyses for alternative energy systems, and advanced materials assistance for manufacturing, among others. So far, more than 500 companies have benefited from more than 800 technology assistance projects, with consistently high satisfaction and implementation rates. More information and to apply. Contact Gary Spanner at (509) 372-4296.

Online now

Alumni Program

An article on how Tri-City companies are using a concept called byproducts synergy is online now. The article mentions Penford Corporation, FruitSmart, and Ice Harbor Brewing Company. The Fall 2007 issue of the Tri-City Alumni Update is online now. It includes stories on education, technology-based economic development, a new group for young professionals, and former Tri-Citians who returned to the area�Jonathan and Kristin Hunt.

Women entrepreneurs aspiring to make a million

Women entrepreneurs can apply for help taking their businesses to the next level through an organization known as "Mike Mine a Million $ Business." The event is a combination of the TV shows "American Idol," "The Apprentice" and "Queen for a Day." Women whose businesses have revenue of $250,000 or more can complete an application explaining how their business could move to the $1 million level within 18 months. Twenty finalists are chosen for each event, which rotate nationwide. Each woman has three minutes to make her case in front of hundreds of small-business owners. The audience votes on the winners, who receive access to a line of credit and business consulting and coaching. Of the 80 women selected in the past two years, ten have cleared $1 million and 34 more are on track to do so by the end of this year. Apply now.

Coming Up

Promoting quality in healthcare

Photo Xrays

NOVEMBER 7, RESERVE BY NOVEMBER 6. The November 7 meeting of the American Society for Quality, Section 614, will address quality in healthcare today. The speaker will be Kellie Hamblin, a registered nurse and Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality as designated by the National Association of Healthcare Quality. She will discuss the growing need for valid and reliable information about the quality of medical care and services. The meeting will be held at the Shilo Inn at 50 Comstock in Richland. The cost is $17 for ASQ members and $20 for non-members, which includes a buffet dinner and a networking/social hour beginning at 5:30 pm. Tickets to attend the presentation only are $5. Make reservations by November 6 by contacting Steve Prevetteat (509) 373-9371 with your name, phone number, member status, and type of reservation.

Entrepreneur University 2007


NOVEMBER 8, REGISTER BY NOVEBMER 5. The Northwest Entrepreneur Network will hold its Entrepreneur University '07 all-day summit on Thursday, November 8, 2007, at Seattle's Bell Harbor Conference Center. This year's keynote speakers are Martin Tobias, CEO and Chairman of Imperium Renewables and a Venture Partner at Ignition Partners, and Sunny Kobe Cook, founder of Sleep Country USA. The conference features a track for early-stage entrepreneurs and a track focusing on growth-stage companies. Attendees can choose sessions from either or both tracks. Registration is $275 for NWEN members and $375 for non-members. Register online or contact Lori Smith at (425) 564-5701.

Freakonomics author to speak at small business conference


NOVEMBER 8; REGISTER BY NOVEMBER 5. The Washington Policy Center will host the 2007 Statewide Small Business Conference at the SeaTac Hilton in Seattle on November 8. Business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend the breakout sessions featuring discussions about business taxes, affordable health care, technology and entrepreneurship, streamlined sales tax, permit streamlining, and more. Special guest speakers will be Stephen Dubner, co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Freakonomics, and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. The conference is from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm. The cost is $50 per person or $350 for a table of ten; breakfast and lunch are included. Register. Contact Carl Gipson at (206) 937-9691.

Investment pitch clinic

Alliance of Angels

NOVEMBER 13, REGISTER BY NOVEMBER 12. The Alliance of Angels 10-Minute Pitch Clinic will help businesses better position themselves to seek angel investor capital. The interactive workshop will include an overview of the Alliance of Angels' process and the components of a good 10-minute pitch, as well as time to craft and refine each attending company's message. The clinic will take place November 13 from 2:30 to 5 pm at the Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive, Richland, Wash. The fee is $50. Space is limited. Register by November 12. More information and to register.

Seminars for small businesses

The Columbia Basin College Small Business Development Center offers the following workshops in August, from 6 to 9 pm. Fees range from $25 to $40, with a $10 late fee if you pay fewer than 48 hours before the scheduled course date. Classes are held at CBC in Pasco, or as noted below. To register, or to learn about these and other courses in the series, contact Daphne Larios at (509) 547-0511, ext. 3138. More information.

November 13 - Starting a Business: Questions You Were Afraid to Ask (1600 North 20th Ave, Suite A)
November 19 - Payroll I Using QuickBooks (CBC, W-165)
November 20 - Legal Issues in Human Resources (1600 North 20th Ave, Suite A)
November 26 - Payroll II Using QuickBooks (CBC, W-165)
November 29 - Organization for Productivity and Profit
(1600 North 20th Ave, Suite A)
December 3 - QuickBooks Intro (CBC, W-165)

Bioenergy, agriculture focus of economic development conference


DECEMBER 6 AND 7; DISCOUNT BY NOVEMBER 21, REGISTRATION DEADLINE DECEMBER 3. The Washington State University School of Economic Sciences will hold its first annual Economic Issues and Outlook conference on December 6-7 at the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco, Wash. A panel of well-known speakers will discuss Washington State's economic development and future in bioenergy and agriculture, including economic, health, and transportation issues. Business leaders, agricultural producers, economists, and energy professionals are encouraged to attend. Registration is $125 before November 21 and $150 after. The registration fee includes all sessions, lunch and dinner, social hour, and a copy of the conference proceedings on CD. Register online. Contact Laci Graciano at (509) 335-5555.

Resources Online

Got News?

We invite your contributions! We will consider items that fit the mission of this publication, including your tech-related news, awards, and notices of upcoming events. Please send text to Andrea McMakin at or call (509) 372-6013.

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update is published by the Economic Development Office at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Each month, we send you an e-mail message, giving you the link of news, tips, awards, upcoming events, and other information about local technology-based businesses and organizations that support them. With business and community partners, our goal is to build and diversify the Tri-Cities economy—adding skilled jobs in primary-sector industries that bring in outside dollars. Currently, more than 1,100 tech-related businesses, investors, and economic development stakeholders subscribe to the newsletter, mostly in the Mid-Columbia area and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. This newsletter (RL-P00-009) supports DOE-Richland's vision for the future of the Hanford Site and surrounding area through the creation of research opportunities, new industries, and new business clusters


News & Events

Programs & Resources

Share This

Share This!

Additional Information


<% Dim privkey Dim publickey privkey = "6LclPgsAAAAAAEK5AMkBJg6GPvBYisXU5b-MUzaL" publickey = "6LclPgsAAAAAAHmRv1uREZeA0cEh6ntdyD7VXAID" ' returns string the can be written where you would like the reCAPTCHA challenged placed on your page 'function recaptcha_challenge_writer(publickey) ' recaptcha_challenge_writer = "" & _ ' "" & _ ' "" ' end function 'function recaptcha_confirm(privkey,rechallenge,reresponse) ' 'Test the captcha field ' Dim VarString ' VarString = _ ' "privatekey=" & privkey & _ ' "&remoteip=" & Request.ServerVariables("REMOTE_ADDR") & _ ' "&challenge=" & rechallenge & _ ' "&response=" & reresponse ' ' Dim objXmlHttp ' Set objXmlHttp = Server.CreateObject("Msxml2.ServerXMLHTTP") ' "POST", "", False ' objXmlHttp.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded" ' objXmlHttp.send VarString ' ' Dim ResponseString ' ResponseString = split(objXmlHttp.responseText, vblf) ' Set objXmlHttp = Nothing ' ' if ResponseString(0) = "true" then ' 'They answered correctly ' recaptcha_confirm = "" ' else ' 'They answered incorrectly ' recaptcha_confirm = ResponseString(1) ' end if 'end function dim myCaptcha 'myCaptcha = recaptcha_challenge_writer(pubkey) 'response.write(myCaptcha) %>

Current Issue

Back Issues