Outside of work, Clint Braine spends much of his time enjoying the arts —tasting and cooking new recipes, reading fiction novels, or sitting on the Critique Committee of the Rochester International Film Festival. His role with RPO, on the other hand, involves the company’s growth into the life sciences market. He shares his experience as a relatively new RPO employee and the opportunities he's had so far.
You’re one of the newest RPO members. What brought you to the company?
My interest in RPO was based on various aspects. First of all, the leadership team is now stable, focused, and enabling the rest of the business to execute and be successful. They know their technology, markets, and how to take a business to the next level.
That said, it’s no surprise that RPO has been growing quickly, and that growth was very attractive, especially since they are growing and expanding into interesting markets that make a significant difference in people’s lives such as endoscopy, clinical chemistry and ophthalmology.
What opportunities are you seeing for RPO in exploring the life sciences market?
Everyone is on a growth path right now. Companies are raising R&D budgets to develop new products and increasing the need for new capabilities. This is especially true in the US and Asia, where the markets are growing quickly. The UK is moving at a slower pace because of uncertainties, but I don't think they will be far behind. In general, life sciences is a robust market across the board.
One of the biggest customer benefits that RPO offers is international distribution. Because the market is developing so rapidly, companies want quick production cycles. By partnering with RPO, customers are able to outsource their optics needs while continuing to focus on their core competencies. RPO's capabilities allow customers to prioritize other parts of their supply chain.
Will optics have a greater impact on specific applications within the market?
Diagnostics holds the most potential for advancements in end use with better precision optics. Tools used to diagnose, improve surgery and support clinical testing will all benefit from increased resolution, accuracy and clarity. Endoscopy is one market segment that has seen a lot of development with optically advanced tools. One of our current programs actually involves an endoscopic device.
Further integration with optics software and data tools, such as clinical chemistry and spectroscopy, will also help to increase accurate diagnoses. Some of the applications focus on diagnosis through high resolution imaging of blood cells. Advancements could have big implications on the speed and identification of cancer diagnoses as well as progress in autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s.
We can also expect to see increased investment in noninvasive applications, which will offer a significant advantage in reducing recovery time. Surgical cameras that allow for remote entrance are a big focus of development, which opens up a lot of opportunities for precision optics manufacturers.
What exciting projects is RPO working on right now?
Some of our current projects are for disposable or single-use applications, such as scopes. We have seen in the news that sterilization is a major concern and risk in healthcare. Creating a cost effective, single-use instrument that utilizes advanced optics technology for high quality imaging would be huge.
Plastic molding is also of interest to life sciences companies. This optics fabrication method could have big implications for blood diagnostics applications, and RPO is in prime position to meet the demand. With expanded injection molding capabilities and investments in new machines, RPO is capable of seeing polymer optics projects through from design to production.
Does your optics project need development and engineering assistance? Through RPO’s Discovery Service, our engineers can help you troubleshoot design issues and plan for next steps.