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Government award of $200,000 for ear implant project



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The Hon. John Moore, MR Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism

M e d i

R e l e a s

Monday, 22 April 1996 16/96

GOVERNMENT AWARD OF $200 000 FOR EAR IMPLANT PROJECT

Research and development is important for industry and Australia’s economic growth. The Government, through Auslndustry and the IR&D Board, has a clear role to play in promoting R&D in Australia.

With this in mind, a grant of $202,470 will be used by Cochlear Ltd, a Sydney company, to collaborate with a research institute on an important and world-leading project.

The Government Industry Research and Development Board Competitive Grant will fund the development of a new hermetically sealed housing for future generations of the much acclaimed Cochlear ear implant for severely to profoundly hearing impaired persons.

The hermetically sealed housing will be suitable for encasing new versions of the Cochlear implant.

The project is a good example of the collaborative R&D work being done by Australian businesses and the research community.

The award will have significant benefits for Australia’s burgeoning medical device industry.

Innovative companies such as Cochlear have shown what can be achieved when firms actively seek opportunities to research, develop and commercialise new ideas for internationally competitive products.

The technique developed will be useful for other Australian companies wishing to implant electronic devices in the human body.

Contacts: Cheiyl Cartwnght CMR025 Minister’s Office 06 277 7580

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Auslndustry 06 276 1348

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Cochlear Ltd 02 428 6555

Note:

Mr Moore announced the $202 470 award at an Auslndustry Breakfast Briefing to business leaders in Sydney today.

Auslndustry

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The IR&D Board administers the Government's competitive grants and tax concession programs, which encourage R&D in industry, as well as the concessional loans program which supports early-stage technology commercialisation activities for small to medium sized firms.

Companies undertaking R&D can apply for assistance under the Competitive Grants for IR&D program or for a Concessional Loan for the Commercialisation of Technological Innovation. All applications that meet the eligibility criteria are assessed on relative merit.

Cochlear’s first commercially produced 22 channel device was implanted in 1982. Since that time, more than 13 000 cochlear devices have been implanted worldwide.

Cochlear is the largest cochlear implant company in the world with their market share of more than 80 per cent. Cochlear exports to more than 48 countries and employs more than 300 people.

A profile of Cochlear Ltd is attached.

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