Interest in wide-scale production of isotopes arouse in Germany, USA and USSR in the 40-ies of the 20-th century, which was associated with the problems of nuclear weapon development. At that time the efforts of specialists were mainly focused on the production of uranium and plutonium isotopes.
In 1945 a group of German scientists and engineers, experienced in the works on nuclear engineering were brought to the USSR from Germany. The above group was accommodated in Georgia, and in particular, in Sukhumi city to work in specially setup research divisions. One of those divisions, Institute “A” was named so after heading it Manfred von Ardene; the second one, institute “Г” (G) – named after Gustaw Hertz, Nobel Prize winner.
In 1949 the two institutions were integrated into one, Institute # 5, and since 1950 name: Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technologies appeared in closed (secret) documents. 10 laboratories were set up at the Institute, where young Georgian scientists worked in cooperation with the German colleagues. Soon after the first atomic bomb was tested in the USSR German specialists were gradually transferred to researches on other problems, associated with stable isotope separations.
Beginning from 1954 German scientists got permission to move to German Democratic Republic (GDR). In the meantime works on the separation of stable isotopes of light elements (boron, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, etc.) started at the unique high technology institution, headed by Acad. I. Gverdtsiteli and staffed with experienced scientists and engineers. Besides, synthesis methods and quality control of labeled compounds were developed there.
In 1961 stable isotope production was separated into an independent institution, and Research Institute of Stable Isotopes (RISI) was set up in Tbilisi, which has been working successfully until today. Developments of nuclear engineering in the USSR required, first of all, increase of boron-10 isotope production for the fabrication of control rods. Industrial-scale technologies of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon isotopes were also developed in the 60-ies.
Since 1991, after the decay of the USSR Research Institute of Stable Isotopes was transformed into National High Technology Centre of Georgia, Ltd (NHTC).
Longer than half-a-century experience of the Centre has been successfully introduced into modern highly efficient and reliable automated production technologies, which, in case of necessity provide opportunity to scale-up production of boron-10, boron-11, oxygen -18. 0xygen-17, nitrogen-15 and carbon-13 isotopes to any required capacities.
Apart from stable isotope production the Centre provides various services to interested institutions, and in particular, such as laboratory tests, development of process control systems, development of technologies for chemical compounds production, etc.