ProNova Solutions celebrates opening of $20 million facility

By Carly Harrington
Knoxville News Sentinel
June 2, 2015

 

Called a day of celebration for East Tennessee and all those affected by cancer, Tuesday marked the grand opening of ProNova Solutions’ new $20 million research and manufacturing facility in Blount County.

An estimated 500 people — community leaders, patients and employees — attended the ribbon-cutting event, which featured public tours and remarks from Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton, State Sen. Doug Overbey and ProNova co-founders Joe Matteo and Terry Douglass.

“We’re just blessed to be able to take this technology and make it accessible to the rest of the world,” a visibly emotional Douglass said. “This is what we’re called to do. We accept the call to a commitment to excellence and we’re just thankful for this opportunity.”

ProNova, a division of Provision Health Alliance, is positioning itself as a leading equipment supplier for the latest in cancer-treatment technology.

The 55,000-square-foot facility in the Pellissippi Place technology research and development park represents the first phase of a more than $50 million capital investment by ProNova, which is working to equip proton centers around the world. Prospective customers from the Netherlands and Germany were in attendance at Tuesday’s event, as well as investors from Asia.

Douglass noted there are 37 proton centers worldwide now, and within two years there will be 119. By 2023, ProNova expects to be building 125 two-room systems out of its Blount County facility, where it will eventually have more than 4,000 employees.

“That’s the level in which this growth will occur for proton therapy, and we’re excited about that,” he said.

Bryan Daniels, president and CEO of Blount Partnership, touted the cooperation among the cities of Alcoa and Maryville and Blount and Knox counties to make it possible for ProNova to locate in Pellissippi Place, which he described as fertile, regional soil.

“We couldn’t have scripted a better company to be our anchor tenant to come into the park,” he said.