About us Our history Our history Timeline of discovery History of leadership Mr Robert Klupacs (2017 - current) [Image: Robert Klupacs and Ross Thomas, R & D Designer) In 2017, Mr Robert Klupacs was appointed CEO of the Bionics Institute. With over 30 years of experience in research commercialisation and bio-technology transfer, Robert is driving an increased focus on opportunities and diversification of the Institute’s funding streams. This focus enables more rapid translation of our research into devices and products that make a tangible difference to the quality of life of patients around the world. Professor Rob Shepherd AM (2005 - 2017) [Image: Graeme Clark, Ray Black and Rob Shepherd] In 2011 and under the directorship of Prof Robert Shepherd AM (2005 – 2017), the Institute changed its name to the Bionics Institute to reflect the breadth of its work across many conditions besides hearing impairment. Professor Shepherd was one of the original members of the University of Melbourne team that created the cochlear implant, and was responsible for the pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies that enabled FDA approval for the device in 1985. He drove the expansion of our research into different areas of clinical need including blindness and inflammatory bowel disease. Professor Graeme Clark AC (1986 - 2005) [Image: Graeme Clark and Rod Saunders] The Bionics Institute was founded by one of Australia’s greatest and inspirational scientists, Professor Graeme Clark AC. During the 1970s, Professor Clark and his team conducted pioneering research and the prototype multiple-electrode cochlear implant (‘bionic ear’) was implanted in the first adult at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in 1978. In 1986, Professor Graeme Clark founded the Bionic Ear Institute to ensure cochlear implant and hearing research continued in an independent and multi-disciplinary environment.