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28 Jun 2019

The Government will invest $924,100 for research to develop cutting edge technology to help people regain eyesight, movement, and other nerve functions.

The Cortical Frontiers: Commercialising Brain Machine Interfaces project is headed by Professor Arthur Lowery, Professor of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University, and is one of 10 highly promising research projects to be funded under Stage One of Frontiers.

The device was originally developed to restore vision, but can be repurposed to provide stimulation of many neural functions.

Health Minister Greg Hunt described the project’s investment as “game-changing” because it will allow teams of Australia’s brightest to move ideas from concept to reality, solidifying the nation’s reputation as a global health and medical research powerhouse.  

“This project, in collaboration with doctors and patients, will help to identify the two most promising applications of the technology for development,” Mr Hunt said.

“In Cortical Frontiers, Monash University is partnering with Melbourne-based medical device company Anatomics, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

“CSIRO will contribute to metallisation, brazing and laser welding to allow interface with the precious metal components of the implanted device.

“Our Government’s $570 million Frontiers initiative is designed to allow researchers to push the boundaries to develop tomorrow’s health and medical breakthroughs.”

Frontiers has a unique, two-stage structure. In Stage One, 10 selected applicants will receive funding of up to $1 million each over one year to develop detailed planning for their cutting-edge research projects.

Each of the selected 10, like Cortical Frontiers, will be able to apply for Frontiers Stage Two, with the opportunity to secure up to $50 million or more to realise their ground-breaking research plan.

Published: 28 Jun 2019