Entrepreneur Joe Rotunda, owner of Rotunda Scientific Technologies, is currently in the process of establishing an additional company to focus on the development of new products, an endeavor that has been undertaken with the help of Braintree Business Development Center.
Rotunda Scientific Technologies focuses on the distribution of items, as well as training and consulting, in the field of dosimetry and radiation protection. The as yet unnamed spin-off company will concentrate on the development of tools in that field.
Rotunda explained the field of radiation measurement and dosimetry as a service provided to those involved with radiation, as in those at nuclear power plants or the medical services of oncology or radiology, and even nuclear waste cleanup.
Rotunda is partnered with his wife, Lisa Fiocca Rotunda. He said the two founded Rotunda Scientific Technologies, now a global company, nearly three years ago as a result of observed changes in the industry and as an opportunity to be more involved in hands-on technology and client interaction.
“There was also a need in the market, because a lot of the larger companies aren’t focused on niche customer requirements to finish taking something all the way to a complete solution, and we see that as something we can do well. So far it’s been good for us,” said Joe Rotunda.
One product, currently in beta testing, is a small tool to alleviate repetitive stress syndrome. “If you wear a radiation badge, like in a hospital or nuclear power plant, people have to take these badges apart, which results in a lot of repetitive stress to the fingers and thumb,” he said.
Another product, which is currently a focus of the new company at Braintree, is something developed while working with the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C. “They’ve developed a detector technology, and we’re going to take it and make it a product,” said Joe Rotunda.
The device would be applicable for both inside humans during radiation treatments and the like, pending FDA approval, as well as detection of radiation at waste cleanup sites or to detect radiation leakage. The ultra thin device would attach to other cable, allowing staff to monitor readouts at a safer distance.
Similar devices are available, but Joe Rotunda noted that they are still quite large for their intended purpose when used in medical applications. “The problem is it’s hard to fit into a body,” he said, gesturing to an example of what is currently on the market, “if you are trying to treat cancer and trying to measure right at the tumor itself. This is quite big compared to a small, maybe pea-sized cancer nodule.”
Joe Rotunda noted that the device currently under development is much smaller. “Our technology is small, if you can imagine something the size of angel hair pasta, something that thin.”
“Our goal is to build some beta units and bring them to beta test customers to validate the need, though in talking with customers… it seems that there’s a good market for it,” said Joe Rotunda.
He added that he would like to see production of the project, as well as future products, focused locally, utilizing area resources and helping to expand other local businesses. “Through Braintree we’ve met some very good candidates to help us produce the product,” he said.
“We’d like to base our business here at the incubator for as long as we’re able to stay, working with other local companies to do the contract manufacturing, for example,” added Joe Rotunda.
He noted he was impressed with the capability of both Braintree and the Richland County area, in that technology is embraced and encouraged.