500 high-tech jobs announced for Blount County project

500 high-tech jobs announced for Blount County project

Posted:
Dr. Terry Douglas, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of ProNova Solutions, LLC, makes the announcement Thursday. Dr. Terry Douglas, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of ProNova Solutions, LLC, makes the announcement Thursday.
A rendering of the new building in the Pellissippi Place Technology Research and Development Park. A rendering of the new building in the Pellissippi Place Technology Research and Development Park.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

ALCOA (WATE) - A company that develops high-tech equipment for cancer therapy treatments is planning to bring more than 500 high-paying jobs to Blount County over the next five years.

ProNova Solutions will be the new anchor tenant on 26 acres at Pellissippi Place Technology Research and Development Park located at the end of the Pellissippi Parkway. Blount County officials hope it will be just the first of many more high tech jobs to come to the county.

The announcement is one the Blount Partnership has been waiting to make since the Pellissippi Place project first began over four years ago.

"Today's project will be the largest research and development corporate headquarters and commercialization private laboratory in Tennessee," said Blount Partnership President Bryan Daniels.

The research and development center will not only bring 500 jobs to Blount County over the next five years, but 500 high-paying jobs with average salaries of over $100,000 a year.

"These are the types of jobs that allow you to stay in Blount county and stay in the area and live comfortably," said Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell.

The center will be developing new proton therapy technology to develop new cancer treatments.

"Protons can be much more targeted in terms of getting radiation to the tumor with less radiation in surrounding tissue," said ProNova Chairman Terry Douglas. "It should have fewer side effects, less secondary cancers, less collateral damage and actually less cost."

Current plans are for the construction of two facilities in two phases.

Phase one will be a 30,000 square foot two-story office and research building containing a 40,000 square foot assembly and test area.

The first phase will start with 35 employees and grow to 110 by 2015.

Phase two will add a 120,000 square foot two-story building. A total of 525 employees are expected to by hired by 2018.

ProNova's total investment in Blount County will total up to $52 million and officials hope it will spark many more just like it.

"People are drawn to successes," said Mayor Mitchell. "People want to be around winners and I think when they see what they're doing in the tech park you'll have a lot more companies wanting to come in and be a part of it."

The company's headquarters is on Dowell Springs in Knoxville.

According to the company's website, it partners with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Indiana University Health to develop the technology.

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