“Excellent talks, superb venue, great food, wonderful country” – Bionics Institute

“Excellent talks, superb venue, great food, wonderful country”

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The plenary address was given by Professor Jim Patrick, Chief Scientist of Cochlear Ltd.  Based on his 35 year involvement with cochlear implant development, research and commercialisation, Jim provided a unique perspective on the road that must be travelled to transform an idea into accepted clinical practice.

Local and international guests enjoyed great weather, an amazing resort location, an entertaining social program, and, most importantly, a wide range of stimulating scientific presentations that relayed the latest developments in this exciting field of research

Professor Rob Shepherd, Director of the Bionics Institute, said, “we believe the direction of medical bionics research and development in the years to come will be shaped by the gathering of over 170 international and local scientists, clinicians and industry representatives at our second international Medical Bionics conference.”

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“The scientific program was unanimously well-received and reflected the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in the development of neural prostheses. It covered bionic solutions to deafness, blindness, paraplegia, epilepsy and intractable psychiatric disorders (to name a few), and covered the breadth of scientific approaches from surgical considerations and electrode design to mathematical modelling and molecular biology”, Professor Shepherd said.

The social program and the relatively small size of this international conference compared to some, not only created a warm and friendly ambience, but allowed for many opportunities to interact, network and exchange ideas.

 

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In fields of research that are often quite narrowly focussed, the conference served to broaden ways of thinking about a problem and create new opportunities for collaboration.  It also provided a forum for PhD students and early career researchers to not only meet leaders in their field but, just as importantly, form their own networks at the poster sessions and career development workshop.

Many of the delegates took some time out to explore the beautiful coastline of Phillip Island and its surrounds, with the penguin parade a highlight for many of our international and interstate guests.

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The Bionics Institute is extremely pleased to have received positive feedback about almost all aspects of the conference, and our hope is that the next Medical Bionics conference, planned for 2014, can again meet everyone’s expectations. A recurring comment the organisers received was to hold this conference more frequently and we are considering the practicalities of holding it every two years. Security of sponsorship is the key, so please tell us if you would like to be involved in future conferences.

As one of our main sponsors wrote:

“The opportunities in the field of Bionics are endless and it is very exciting for us to be involved with you in that process of development. We were delighted with our sponsorship and we are very keen to keep that up for future conferences”.

Some feedback from delegates:

“It was a great meeting from all aspects.”
“Good program, nice venue and excellent ambience.”
“I had a wonderful time at the conference, easily one of the best meetings I have ever been to.”
“Everything was first class.”
“Best conference dinner ever”
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