California Company in First-Ever Russian Venture
Medical device maker to partner with ''closed nuclear'' company
NORTHRIDGE - 11/07/03 - A Southern California-based medical device manufacturer will partner with a Russian company in the first-ever joint venture between a US firm and a Russian partner located in a "closed nuclear" city.
According to the US Department of Energy, the groundbreaking project will employ former Russian nuclear scientists to manufacture medical components, equipment and devices.
The project was developed through the Department of Energy's Russian Transition Initiative (RTI) program, which has, to date, engaged nearly 15,000 weapons workers.
The "closed nuclear" city, which hasn't been identified, is one of scores of secret Soviet-era industrial communities scattered throughout Russia that are primarily involved in the development and production of nuclear weapons systems and components.
The RTI works in partnership with American industry to transform the infrastructure of the Russian nuclear weapons complex to permanent non-military, commercial uses.
The joint venture calls for Numotech Inc., a Northridge, California medical devices company, and Spektr-Conversion LLC, a Russian entrepreneurial start-up, to produce medical products for export to markets worldwide including Numotech's patented Back Support System, the first clinically-proven product to prevent and heal pressure ulcers for those confined to wheelchairs, and its Numobag, an oxygen bath system for healing wounds, pressure sores, burns and incisions.
The Numotech-Spektr Conversion joint venture culminates three years of US government support under the RTI and is expected to create over 400 permanent local jobs.
Nearly 100 former employees of the Russian Federation's All Russian Scientific and Research Institute for Technical Physics (VNIITF), who previously worked on the manufacturing and design of nuclear weapons, will be employed at Spektr-Conversion.
The Russian company now operates as an independent research, development and prototype manufacturer, and is no longer associated with VNIITF, the Energy Department said.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has already said it will support the new joint venture and has committed to provide a $10 million loan to leverage additional funds from outside investors, in addition to a commitment of up to $25 million in political risk insurance coverage for eligible equity investors.
Also involved in the joint venture is Sandia National Laboratories, a multi-program laboratory operated by the Lockheed Martin Company for the Department of Energy.
Sandia - which operates facilities in Livermore, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico - will validate the venture's technologies and provides technical assistance for the project. As an active participant in the RTI program, Sandia mentors Russian scientists making the transition from defense to civilian industry.
Announcement of the Numotech- Spektr-Conversion LLC joint venture was made at the recent first-ever Partnerships for Prosperity & Security exhibition-conference in Philadelphia, where scientists and engineers from Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan unveiled 140 technologies, many of which have been previously inaccessible to US companies.
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