Tuesday, 30 March 2010 19:00

NICTA in bionic eye project


NICTA is one of five partners in the Bionic Vision Australia consortium, which is seeking to deliver a bionic eye, just as Australia led the way with the bionic ear.

Bionic Vision Australia (BVA) is working to develop a functioning bionic eye that can restore vision to those with degenerative or inherited retinal disease, including retinitis pigmentosa.

While the device will not restore full vision, it will allow people with age-related macular degeneration to recognise faces, read large print and see small objects.

The Federal Government has allocated $A42 million to the project.

The five BVA partners are University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, the Bionic Ear Institute, the Centre for Eye Research Australia and NICTA.

"NICTA will be working closely with other BVA partners to develop the bionic eye implant," said NICTA's Victoria research laboratory director Professor Rob Evans.

"In collaboration with the University of Melbourne, we will bring our ICT expertise to develop a microelectronic chip consisting of more than 1000 electrodes and an ultra-tiny wireless data link, which will be implanted in a patient's eye," he added.

What other role will NICTA play in the project? See page 2.

NICTA will also contribute its expertise in visual processing technology to the project.

The official launch of BVA took place in Melbourne today.



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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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