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$2 Million for innovative device to detect eye diseases sooner

28 November, 2006

Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, has announced $2 million in funding for an ACT innovation that will see earlier detection of eye diseases, like glaucoma, and provide more effective treatment for patients.

Seeing Machines is one of three ACT companies sharing in $2.5 million through the latest round of Commercial Ready and Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) funding.

Macfarlane said the product, the TrueField Analyzer, which simultaneously measures both eyes, is quicker, more reliable and more comfortable for the patient than the perimeter eye measurement devices currently on the market.

"The key innovation is the objective measurement based on unique visual stimuli and tracking the pupil's response in real time," Macfarlane said.

"The device includes advanced algorithms and computer vision technology, all developed locally in Canberra.

"TrueField could reduce public health costs in treating glaucoma because its earlier detection and reliable continued monitoring will lead to more effective treatment and fewer ongoing complications for patients."

Other Canberra companies awarded grants were:

Elaco Pty Ltd - $64,000 COMET grant to commercialise a patent-pending technology for manufacturing light and high-impact resistant composites based on a range of existing, low-cost materials. The technology provides end-product results comparable with high-cost composite materials in the market today. 

Opal Software Pty Ltd - $500,796 Commercial Ready grant to complete research and development and undertake early-stage commercialisation activities of the simSCADA/simNET software products, designed for the utilities sector. The software allows for an innovative means of testing and assessing real time control systems and the capability of the people responsible for using them.

Across Australia, more than $23 million has been announced for 40 projects through the Commercial Ready and Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) programs.

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