Cochlear implant and farmed tuna among breakthroughs taking out prestigious Innovation Awards

Teams developing Australia’s cochlear implant and pioneering an aquaculture industry based on southern bluefin tuna were among the winners of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Innovation, presented tonight by Warren Snowdon, Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery. A process for making better aluminum ingots and a community guide to Aboriginal knowledge and intellectual property protocols were other winners. The awards are made annually by the Cooperative Research Centres Association, and were presented at the peak body’s Pathfinders 2010 Challenge and Change Conference at Alice Springs.

The HEARing CRC won an award for its role in the development of the Cochlear Hybrid System. The system extends greatly the number of people who can benefit from cochlear implant technology, previously limited to patients with complete hearing loss.

Information: HEARing CRC CEO Professor Bob Cowan Ph 0418 780 198; communications manager Jane Sewell Ph 0434 810 466

The Australian Seafood CRC was presented with an award for research that has set the scene for growth of a sustainable tuna aquaculture industry. The breeding and rearing of the prized southern bluefin tuna in hatcheries will reduce or eliminate the dependence on fragile wild stocks.

Information: Australian Seafood CRC program manager Dr Graham Mair Ph 0410 394 072

The CAST CRC won an award for new moulds and filling systems for making aluminium ingots. The technology, which is being used in Australian smelters and exported, clears the way for the production of high quality aluminium more cheaply, efficiently and safely.

Information: CAST CRC CEO Dr George Collins 0408 202 605

The Desert Knowledge CRC won an award for its Community Guide to Aboriginal Knowledge and Intellectual Property Protocols. The guide is designed to help Aboriginal people and communities collaborating with researchers.

Information: DK CRC CEO Jan Ferguson 0401 719 882