Latest News 

Meet our new CEO, Robert Klupacs
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May 16, 2017

The Bionics Institute is excited to announce the appointment of Robert Klupacs as its new Chief Executive Officer. Robert was appointed after an international search for a new CEO to lead our renowned medical research institute, which was founded in 1986 by Professor Graeme Clark. Robert Klupacs takes over from Professor Rob Shepherd, who will remain with the Bionics Institute as its Principal Scientist. Read more...

Victorian government increases funding to $34m in 2017/18 budget

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The Bionics Institute welcomes the announcement that the Victorian government will increase operational funding support for Victoria's medical research institutes to $34m in 2017/18. This is the most substantial increase in over a decade and will help drive the growth of the sector, creating jobs and driving research and technologies that prevent, diagnose and treat disease. Read more...


Thushara Perera awarded veski 2016 Victoria Fellowship

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November 30, 2016

Bionics Institute’s Dr Thushara Perera​ and board member Professor James McCluskey were among Victoria’s top scientists to be honoured at the announcement of the 2016 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation and the 2016 Victoria Fellowships. The awards were presented on 29 November by the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis, in conjunction with veski.

Upcoming event - We invite you to join us!

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On the 30th November, the Bionics Institute will be hosting a community event for those interested in hearing from senior scientists and clinicians about some of the breakthroughs happening in research. Amongst the speakers will be Prof Rob Shepherd who will discuss the bionic ear, Prof Mark Cook who will describe new technologies for epilepsy patients, and Dr Matt Petoe and Di Ashworth who will discuss profound blindness with Retinitis Pigmentosa and the next generation bionic eye. Read more...

New perspectives for industry leaders

September 8, 2016

In August, the Bionics Institute's Dr David Nayagam was the keynote speaker at the PACE Zenith awards at the MCG. The PACE Zenith Awards recognise and celebrate innovation and excellence in the process control and automation industries. We were delighted to be invited to speak to industry leaders about the cutting-edge work we are engaged with in relation to developing the bionic eye.


Congratulations Shefin 

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August 24, 2016

The Bionics Institute congratulates Dr Shefin George on her recent graduation (pictured centre front). Her PhD thesis investigated new stimulation techniques to improve the quality of hearing provided by cochlear implants. Shefin is the first graduate through the Medical Bionics Department (University of Melbourne) and is currently undertaking post-doctoral research at Stanford University, USA. We wish her all the best for her future and the outstanding career we know is waiting for her.

Kathleen Jordan book launch - Standing up!

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July 15, 2016

Kathleen Jordan has recently written a book about her journey to recovery after stroke. Her tremendous courage and determination gives others hope after the fateful morning in 2011 when her world was forever changed by stroke.

Kathleen is generously donating half of the proceeds of her book 'Standing Up!' to the Bionics Institute, with the other half donated to the Stroke Foundation. Please contact us if you wish to purchase a copy.

Chairman of the board appointed Member of Order of Australia 

June 15, 2016

Congratulations to the Bionics Institute Chairman, Mr John Stanhope, who was appointed a  Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division, in The Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List. The Order of Australia recognises outstanding members of the community. John received his award for his significant service and leadership in the financial and national communication sectors. Read more…


Outstanding service to audiology 
June 7, 2016

At Audiology Australia’s recent national conference, Professor Colette McKay was awarded a special certificate for Outstanding Service to Audiology. The Bionics Institute congratulates Colette for this well-deserved recognition of her contributions to research, teaching, and professional development in the field of Audiology.  Colette has an impressive track record of contributing to real and significant improvements in cochlear implant outcomes. 

Celebrating our Ambassadors and hearing research

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On June 20th we will be holding a special event to celebrate some wonderful developments in hearing research and the generous contributions of our Ambassadors. This event will be an enjoyable and interesting afternoon in which we will hear from leading researchers, as well as personal accounts from our Ambassadors who have been affected by hearing loss. Read more…

Our 2016 Annual Public Lecture 

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April 22, 2016

The Bionics Institute Annual Public Lecture was held on the 20th April with Catherine Livingstone AO delivering the keynote address “Entrepreneurs, business and research: can we get the right mix to drive innovation in Australia?” Catherine gave an excellent overview of the medical research translation challenge we face in Australia.

Read more…

A patient's story

April 6, 2016

Episode 4 of the new ABC series Keeping Australia Alive follows patient ‘Danny’ who is about to undergo deep brain stimulation surgery to deliver targeted electrical impulses to the brain to treat his symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.


Improving walking disorders in Parkinson's disease

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March 1, 2016

A recently awarded grant from the Brain Foundation to Institute researchers was featured in their summer newsletter.  Our research, in collaboration with clinician Dr Wes Thevathasan, is aimed at providing therapies for a debilitating symptom of Parkinson’s disease - freezing of gait - which often leads to falls and injury.

Read more…

Annual Public Lecture set for April 20th  -Save the Date-

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Entrepreneurs, business and research: can we get the right mix to drive innovation in Australia?”

The Bionics Institute Annual Lecture will be held at the Melbourne Museum on the 20th April 2016. Providing the keynote address will be Ms Catherine Livingstone AO, Chairman of Telstra Corporation Limited, President of the Business Council of Australia and previous CEO and Managing Director of Cochlear Limited.

Global Mentorship Pilot Program to assist researchers

Mohit.jpgFebruary  4, 2016

Congratulations to Dr Mohit Shivdasani on recently being awarded a place in the Association for Research Vision and Ophthalmology(ARVO) global mentorship program. Mohit, who is a Research Fellow and Biomedical Engineer at the Institute, has said it will be a unique experience  and he is excited to be chosen as one of 50 participants worldwide among only 25 outside the US.

As part of the program Mohit will be paired with a mentor to further his career development in vision and opthalmology research.

Knowledge Nation 2016

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Knowledge Society and the Office of the Chief Scientist announced the Knowledge Nation 100. This gathering in Sydney on March 21 will convene with policymakers and key stakeholders to discuss common agenda and turn ambition into action. The Director of the Bionics Institute, Professor Rob Shepherd, has been selected as one of 100 leaders who create and apply knowledge.  

He joins with A
ustralia's best thinkers, researchers, knowledge creators, industry and university leaders and government for this critical national conversation. Read more...

 A year at the Bionics Institute

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November 28, 2015

The Bionic Institute's 2014-15 annual report is now available.
Click here to read about the year's highlights and the research and accomplishments of our scientists and engineers. Visit our publications page to view previous annual reports, supporter newsletters and more.


A philanthropic investment in bionic vision

News_Ramaciotti_grant_OCT2015.JPGOctober 23, 2015

The Bionics Institute congratulates Dr Matt Petoe (third from right) on receiving a 2015 Health Investment Grant from The Ramaciotti Foundations. This prestigious grant is awarded to promising early career scientists to support research with a potential path to clinical application. These funds will help Matt advance the quality of artificial vision in the second generation bionic eye. Read more…

A bionic approach to bowel disease

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, USA) recently announced seven teams to work on their ‘Electrical Prescriptions’ (ElectRx) program. The aim of this program is to develop technologies that modulate the activity of peripheral nerves to restore healthy function to organs. The Bionics Institute is part of a team that includes the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, and Austin Health, which will focus on a bionic solution to inflammatory bowel disease. Read more…

Open garden fundraiser

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Next month enjoy a beautiful open garden and support the Bionics Institute’s hearing and neurobionics research.

       WHEN: Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th October, 2015
       WHERE: 23 Salmon Street, KOO WEE RUP
       Entry: $5
       All proceeds will be donated to the Bionics Institute

See An Invitation to Open Garden for opening hours and directions.

Two guys, two bikes, four rides

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Yesterday, the Bionics Institute was delighted to host a book launch for John Nelson, one of our incredibly supportive and inspirational Ambassadors. His book Help the Children Hear recounts his four bike rides around Australia and New Zealand with his fellow Rotarian Ted Lowe. A week before the start of his first fundraising ride John became very ill and needed to have both legs amputated, but this did not change his determination.

Between 2004 - 2011 and with the support of many Rotary clubs, John rode an astounding 18,000 km on a recumbent bike and raised $130,000 for our cochlear implant research. 
Read more…

A Walk in the Park

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Our Institute team enjoyed a ‘Walk in the Park’ on August 30th to support Parkinson's Victoria's annual fundraising and awareness day. Thank you to everyone who donated to our team - your generosity contributed to the fantastic total of $197,430 raised by 3000 walkers and their supporters. These donations will greatly assist in the search for a cure and the delivery of vital support services to people living with Parkinson’s disease, their families, and carers.

Australian medical researchers celebrate

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Bionics Institute Director Professor Rob Shepherd expressed his delight that the legislation for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) was passed today in the Senate. “This news is cause for celebration, not only by Australian medical researchers but the beneficiaries of our work – those living with disabling or life-threatening illnesses who look to our sector for medical breakthroughs and innovation. We congratulate the Government and Parliament for their vision and commitment in establishing this Fund." Read more...

Medical Research Future Fund
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August 11, 2015

Bionics Institute Director, Professor Rob Shepherd was recently invited to the Commonwealth Government’s Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee to inquire into and report on the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Bills.  Passage of the Bills, expected to be debated today, would pave the way for the appointment of the Advisory Board to develop the MRFF’s five year Strategy and two year Priorities, and enable the first disbursements of around $10 million to be made this financial year. Read more of Rob Shepherd’s statement.

10 of the best research projects

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Each year the NH&MRC highlights 10 of the best projects funded. The recently published report for 2014 featured epilepsy research led by Prof Mark Cook (St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne) in collaboration with Prof Peter Blamey and A/Prof Chris Williams from the Bionics Institute and Profs David Grayden and Tony Burkitt from the University of Melbourne. This project developed ways to predict an impending seizure. To know more, click here

Developing a new treatment for severe incontinence

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The Bionics Institute is bringing its expertise in bionic device design to a new collaborative project aimed at developing a novel treatment for severe stress urinary incontinence. Led by the University of Melbourne (A/Prof Brock), and including the Institute, Charles Sturt University and Neosphincter Technologies Pty Ltd, this project was recently funded by the Australian Research Council and will develop a novel electrode  as an integral component of a device that can regulate the bladder.

This research project represents an exciting expansion of our capabilities and collaborative networks, and an opportunity to apply our skills to a new area of clinical need.



e 23, 2015

The Institute congratulates PhD candidate Kyle Slater and his colleagues David Sly and Luke Campbell for winning the MiniFab MedTech’s Got Talent prize for their product nuraloop - personalised headphones that automatically compensate for hearing loss. In August they will compete against four other finalists for $40,000 seed funding. 



 Vale Dr Peter Freeman

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It is with great sadness that the Institute learned of the recent passing of Dr Peter Freeman, Chairman of Trustees of the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation from 1995-2011. Peter played a significant role in the formation of the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation, guiding it to the great foundation it is today.  In 2012 he was awarded the Foundation’s Gold Medal in recognition of his length of service at the Foundation and his dedication to the advancement of the medical specialty of otorhinolaryngology throughout his professional career. 

Innovation in Australia: Are we losing the plot?

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Last night, Mark Dodgson, Professor of Innovation Studies at the University of Queensland Business School and Visiting Professor at Imperial College London, delivered the keynote address at the Institute's 2015 annual public lecture. To listen to his informative and objective assessment of the state of innovation in Australia click here for audio of the event.

Lifetime of dedication

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The Bionics Institute congratulates Adjunct Professor Jim Patrick AO FTSE on receiving an ATSE Clunies Ross Lifetime Achievement Award. As one of the original engineers who pioneered the development of Australia’s multichannel cochlear implant, this prestigious award honours his dedication to the creation and commercialisation of a device that has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people world-wide. ATSE media release and video.

The Clunies Ross award is given to a select group of innovators in recognition of their outstanding application of science and technology that provides economic, social and/or environmental benefit to Australia.

Celebrating the cochlear implant

News_celebrating the CI.jpgMay 25, 2015

A premier international acoustics conference, held last week in Pittsburgh USA, included a day of presentations to celebrate the modern cochlear implant and some of the many individuals who made it possible. Prof Colette McKay, the Institute’s Translational Hearing Research leader, was the only scientist from Melbourne invited to speak at this special session. Read more…

Our 2015 public lecture


April 29, 2015

‘Innovation in Australia: are we losing the plot?
On the 3rd of June the Bionics Institute will host its annual lecture and we are very pleased to have Professor Mark Dodgson (pictured) as our keynote speaker. Professor Dodgson advises companies on their innovation strategies, and has been a member of, and advisor to, numerous government agencies around the world. To know more about the lecture and find out how to attend, click here.

Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research visits the Institute

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Frank McGuire (MP for Broadmeadows) is passionate about harnessing Victoria’s innovative talents for the state's and country’s future prosperity.  During a recent visit to the Institute he showed his strong interest in building on the solid foundation of medical research in Victoria to create the new high tech manufacturing industries and jobs of the future. This can be achieved by supporting translational research through the 'valley of death' and into clinical and commercial reality.

(L-R): The Hon Steve Bracks AC (Institute Board member), Ms Vanessa Maxim (technical assistant), The Hon Frank McGuire (MP), Mr Owen Burns (research engineer).

A year at the Bionics Institute

March 10, 2015

The Bionics Institute's 2014 research report is now available.
Click here to view the report and read about our recent research highlights. Our publications page also contains our annual reports, supporter newsletters and more.


Fulbright scholar visits the Institute


February 24, 2015

Professor Ruth Litovsky, a 2014 Fulbright Senior Scholar, is visiting the Institute for six months to work with Institute researchers on bilateral cochlear implant projects and imaging brain plasticity in cochlear implant users. Ruth's research focusses on the importance of binaural hearing - the ability to combine information from the two ears. more…

Inaugural Lions International Neurobionics Fellow appointed

News_Lions_Neurobionics_fellow_Wes.jpgFebruary 6, 2015

The Bionics Institute is pleased to welcome Dr Wesley Thevathasan (Neurologist, Royal Melbourne Hospital) to our neurobionics team.  As the Institute’s first Lions International Neurobionics Fellow he will work with our engineers and scientists to develop and evaluate advanced deep brain stimulation systems to treat movement disorders. As well as being a busy clinician he is an active researcher, receiving NHMRC funding to determine how deep brain stimulation may improve balance and posture in Parkinson’s disease patients.

Bionic ear developer honoured with an Order of Australia

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January 27, 2015

Cochlear Ltd’s Chief Scientist and Bionics Institute Honorary Fellow, Professor Jim Patrick, was awarded an Order of Australia in the 2015 Australia Day Honours for his contribution to the development of the cochlear implant.  Jim has devoted his entire career to developing and improving this life-changing technology and his impact on the field has been highly significant.  The Institute congratulates Jim on this honour - it is a fitting recognition of his outstanding contributions to the technical and commercial development of the cochlear implant.


Bionic ear pioneer recognised with major bioengineering award

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Professor Emeritus Graeme Clark AC, Director Emeritus of the Bionics Institute, was recently awarded the 2015 Russ prize by the US National Academy of Engineering. This prestigious award recognises a bioengineering achievement in widespread use that significantly improves the human condition, and celebrates collaboration between engineering, medicine and the biological sciences. The Institute congratulates Graeme on this well-deserved award, along with four co-recipients who contributed to the success of today’s multi-channel cochlear implant. Read more on the Ohio University website.

Bioelectronics innovation challenge

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GSK set a challenge to researchers around the world to develop an implantable device that can record, stimulate and/or block the activation of visceral nerves. The first team that demonstrates a working prototype wins a $1m prize.  A competitive application process resulted in funding for 10 teams: the Bionics Institute is part of a successful Australian application led by the Sydney engineering group EC and Associates, and in collaboration with the University of Melbourne.

The challenge is to produce a small, wireless implantable device that modulates the activity of nerves to restore healthy function to visceral organs, such as the bladder. Read more on the GSK website and blog.





Bionics Institute in the News

Cochlear implant technology is paving the way for bionic vision and implantable brain devices
The Institute - IEEE news source, December 28 2017

Baby brain scans hold hearing clues
Herald Sun, September 13 2017

Artificial vision: what people with bionic eyes see
The Conversation, August 18 2017

Melbourne-designed implant puts miracle eye cure in sight
Herald Sun, July 13 2017

'Fitbit for the brain' that tracks epileptic seizures potential game changer, researchers say
ABC News Online, July 8 2017

Melbourne researchers develop 'Fitbit for the brain' epileptic seizures forecast implant
Herald Sun, July 7 2017

Bionic Vision Technologies raises US$18m from State Path Capital, China Huarong
Australian Financial Review, April 3 2017

Bionic Vision Australia delivers significant health and economic benefits to Australia
Australian Research Council media release, April 4 2017

Trial to image "hearing brain" of children set to begin
Biomedical Research Victoria, Feb 2017

Bionic eyes and arms are no longer science fiction
ABC News, Feb 16 2017

Stimulating the brain from within
National Geographic, Feb 2017

Implantable mobile phones and other breakthroughs to look out for in 2017
Herald Sun, Jan 3 2017

Miracle of $6m gut
Herald Sun, Feb 19 2016

Cochlear Implants assessed for link to speech, language
The Herald Sun, Dec 21 2015

Knowledge Nation 100
The Australian Business Review, Dec 11, 2015

Innovation: $250 m fund to bolster bionics potential
The Australian, Dec 8, 2015

Ramaciotti Foundations distribute almost $1.5 million to advance Australian biomedical research
Media Release (Perpetual), Oct 13, 2015 

Department of Defense funds Australian research into inflammatory bowel disease
The Melbourne Newsroom, Oct 6, 2015

Concern over new treatment for common cause of blindness
ABC The World Today, July 22, 2015 

The bionic eye is here: Kiwi brain power behind the gift of sight
TVNZ, July 2, 2015

Bionic ear could harness brain's 'octopus cells' to improve sound 
ABC Science, June 18, 2015

The world's best health research on our doorstep
The Melbourne Newsroom, March 31, 2015

Aussies in bionic race
Herald Sun, January 22, 2015 

A novel approach
veski's Portraits of Innovation, January 2015
(Victorian State Government)

3D printed bionic eye prototype successfully tested to enhance vision in sight-loss patients 
International Business Times (UK), November 26, 2014

Labor promises $60m for St Vincent's Hospital medical technology centre

The Age, November 2, 2014 

What will the human body look like in the future?
SBS Insight, October 29, 2014

New evidence suggests hearing loss speeds up cognitive decline
the burn (magazine), October 24, 2014

Future vision for Australia's bionic eye
Channel 7 News, October 23, 2014

Melbourne’s genius medical researchers spend most of their time having to find funding
Herald Sun, October 10, 2014

The Bionic Eye
The Scientist, September 29, 2014

Melbourne inventions that went global
Herald Sun, August 5, 2014

Technology turnaround: Australian scientist goes from bionic ear to bionic eye
The NIH Record, August 1, 2014
(page 1, 8) (National Institutes of Health, USA)

Bionics Institute turns 30
Radio National, June 17, 2014
Interview between Simon McKeon and Waleed Aly.

Neurobionics devices provide the answer to Parkinson's disease, OCD & depression
Research Australia's 'grassRoots' e-magazine, Winter 2014 

Bionic eye trial 'really promising'
The Age, May 1, 2014

Bionic eye tests reach new milestone
ABC News 24, April 30, 2014

Ill times for medical research as institutes face ballooning costs as support declines
The Age, April 21, 2014

Cures left on hold
Herald Sun, April 20, 2014 

Bionic Medicine 
Canberra Community Radio 2XX, April 3, 2014 (podcast)

Nano-medicine to treat heard-to-reach deafness
Herald Sun, November 21, 2013

Delight in bionic sight
The Age, September 16, 2013

Bionic eye shines light on darkness
Brisbane Times, September 16, 2013
The Canberra Times, September 16, 2013

Cochlear program to give deaf children best start to life
Herald Sun, September 11, 2013

Scientists in funds plea on life-changing hi-tech brain devices
Herald Sun, September 1, 2013









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