Dec 21, 2022 - Business

Tampa tech company donates radiation shields to Ukraine

Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) accepts one of StemRad's radiation shields from astronaut Scott Kelly. Photo: Courtesy of FIBA

A Tampa-based company is using its technology to protect astronauts and, most recently, the Ukrainian government.

Driving the news: StemRad, a radiation protection technology company that was part of the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator's first tech cohort in 2017, donated 20 gamma radiation shields to Ukraine, the company announced earlier this month.

  • The shields are designed to protect individuals in the event they're exposed to high rates of radiation.
  • The company, which is working with NASA, also says its AstRorad radiation protection vests were aboard the Orion Spacecraft, which returned last week from lunar orbit.

Details: StemRad claims to be the world's only company making equipment to protect against gamma radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation dangerous to the human body.

The big picture: The war resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine has world leaders fearing a nuclear crisis after explosions came close to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in November.

What they're saying: StemRad CEO Oren Milstein told Axios his technology was inspired by the Chernobyl disaster.

  • "To see it happening again in Ukraine, this time with the Russian invasion, was a big deal," he said. "I think it's an obligation of every freedom-loving person in the world to defend, in a small way even, a country that's being invaded."

What to watch: The company is asking for donations to give Ukraine 200 shields that would protect first responders in case of a nuclear crisis.


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