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$2.6 million to advance research into a breakthrough bionic medical device in Fairlight

The Morrison Government is providing $2,602,035 in funding to ARIA Research to provide more autonomy to those who are blind or visually impaired.

ARIA Research will use the funding to join with University of Sydney, UTS and World Access for the Blind to undertake preclinical evaluations, build early prototypes, undertake preclinical trial, and prepare for future clinical trials.

“ARIA is a non-invasive bionic system in the form of a lightweight pair of glasses that connect to the smartphone. The ARIA provides a vision analogue that understands the objects nearby and delivers to the user a soundscape through speakers in the arms of the sunglasses,” said Robert Yearsley, CEO of ARIA Research.

The project is one of 22 from across Australia that will deliver innovative technologies and create job opportunities across priority manufacturing sectors.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said the successful projects are outstanding examples of what can be achieved by fostering research collaborations between organisations and industry.

“These projects will address challenges in our National Manufacturing Priority areas and lead to tangible outcomes that will improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, while growing the economy and creating new jobs,” Minister Porter said.

“Funded projects under the latest round involve 58 Australian companies, including 42 small and medium businesses, and 34 research organisations across the country.”

NSW Senator Andrew Bragg says the world first technology provides a practical solution that is easily scalable.

“This product is non-invasive, very easy to use and provides immediate benefits. ARIA has the potential to impact 338 million blind and visually impaired people globally and is a fantastic display of Australian innovation right here on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.”

The project also has the potential to grow jobs in the electorate and build the local economy.

“This grant makes us the largest blind research project in the country. It will help fund the work of twenty researchers and academics for the next three years and will enable ARIA Research to hire 10 new high-tech jobs in Sydney,” said Mr Yearsley.

Since the first round of CRC Projects in 2016, the Government has awarded over $376 million in funding under the CRC-P Program to support 176 projects.
These projects include over 900 collaborating partners from industry, research, government and community organisations, and are leveraging $853 million in partner contributions.

CRC-Ps can run for up to three years and must have at least two Australian industry partners, including one small or medium sized business, and one Australian research organisation partner

Media Contact: Charlotte Mortlock 0401 392 624

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