[ASC-media] The Heart of Australian Research

Jordan Gardner jordan.gardner at crca.asn.au
Wed Aug 20 17:58:06 PDT 2014




The Heart of
Australian Research

 

“There
are approximately 4 billion people in the world who need optimum vision to
maximise their opportunities and quality of life. Nine percent of the world’s
population, 625 million people, are vision impaired or blind because they are
living with uncorrected refractive error, which can be solved by having a local
eye care practitioner that can prescribe and supply the necessary spectacles
and examine eyes for signs of blinding disease,” says Professor Brien Holden, CEO of
the Vision CRC and Brien Holden Vision Institute.
 

“Meeting
the needs of those 4 billion people requires breakthrough science and
technology, and the 625 million without vision care need world’s best systems to
develop capacity for the delivery of vision care in every community in need.”


Since
2003, the Vision Cooperative Research Centre (Vision CRC) has been converting
breakthrough research into successful products to correct and treat refractive
errors. 



The
CRC has brought over $1 billion dollars in research funds back into Australia,
in addition to more than $250 million in royalties through licensing their key
product, Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses, to commercial partners. 



Australian
innovations in contact lenses and spectacles for treatment of myopia has sold
$25 billion worth of product, with the high oxygen contact lenses co-invented
by the CRC accounting for more than 50% of the soft contact lens market
globally.


The
CRC is working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
through their “Model of Vision Care” program, which aims to investigate
practical solutions for improving systems for the delivery of eye care in these
communities. Royalties have helped fund partner initiatives to deliver these
services.


“Working
closely with Regional Eye Health Coordinators and the associated Aboriginal
Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS), we have provided over 45,000 eye
examinations”
says Professor Holden. 



The
CRC is currently working on a “Retinal Imaging System”, a cost effective device
to provide early, automatic, diagnosis of blinding eye disease such as diabetic
retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration. This innovation has the
potential to significantly lower the cost of such disease to the health system.



“Absolutely
tragic” says
Professor Holden, responding to the recent cuts to the CRC Program. “CRCs
are the jewel in the crown of translational research in Australia.” 



“The
Program is a very attractive way of utilising Australian science to create
social and economic benefit not only for Australia, but the world.” 



The
Vision CRC is currently rebidding as a Public Good CRC in Round 17.


Information: Stephen Davis, Brien Holden Vision Institute;
Vision CRC 

Phone: 02 9385 7356; 0450 661 695

Email:
S.Davis at brienholdenvision.org 

Website: www.brienholdenvision.org   www.visioncrc.org 





---
Jordan Gardner
CRC Association, Communications and Marketing Officer
www.crca.asn.au | jordan.gardner at crca.asn.au | 02 6273 1124 | @crcassoc

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