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Medtech challenge winners announced by Bionics Qld

07 August 2020

The Bionics Queensland Challenge 2020 has awarded seven of the state’s most innovative bionic discoveries a share in $165,000, to propel the projects and aid the lives of those living with chronic diseases and complex disabilities.

Supported by $150,000 from Advance Queensland and judged by a panel of experts, the competition – Australia’s first bionics innovation challenge – awarded prizes in the three categories of Bionic Mobility, Bionic Senses, and Neural and AI-Enabled Bionics.

Winning projects included tissue-engineered vascular grafts, a lightweight EEG-controlled mobility device, and a smart prosthetic with a bionic sense of touch.

The three major winners each received $50,000 to progress their innovation plus a Mentoring and Acceleration Program. Four promising teams with early-stage bionic innovations each received $5000 to take their work to the next level.

The Challenge 2020 brought together scientists, engineers, students, clinicians and start-ups with a passion for innovations in human bionics.

In all, 15 teams took part and showcased Queensland’s potential in biofabrication, robotics, artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing. Challenge entrants were linked with mentors and like-minded innovators.

Teams took part in a four-month program which saw them pitch to a panel of expert judges including neuroscientist and thought leader Dr Fiona Kerr; WearOptimo Chief Technology Officer Dr Stephen Wilson; founder of Neuromathix Dr Nigel Greenwood; Cochlear Ltd Chief Scientist Emeritus and Adjunct Professor Jim Patrick; cofounder of Lyro Robotics, Juxi Leitner; and Afghanistan war veteran, amputee and champion golfer Damien Thomlinson, among others.

Details of the winning teams and projects and insights into the Bionics Queensland Challenge 2020 are at http://www.bionicsqueensland.com.au/challenge

Watch Deputy-Director General Innovation Dr Sarah Pearson’s announcement of the winners.