Hearing loss sufferers worldwide will reap the rewards of three globally recognised research brands with Ear Science Institute Australia (ESIA), Curtin University and William Demant Foundation joining forces to establish a ‘Hearing Sciences’ joint venture.
The five-year enterprise in the brain and hearing space will be co-funded by the three participants and will focus on whether early treatment for hearing loss can prevent or slow down dementia, as well as developing new interventions to improve the lives of those with hearing loss.
The joint venture will include the establishment of a Lions Hearing Clinic on Curtin’s Perth campus and the allocation of two new Associate Professor roles in ESIA – an Associate Professor of Brain and Hearing focussing on research into clinical science and surgical interventions and an Associate Professor of Hearing Therapeutics focussing on genetics and hearing.
ESIA CEO Sandra Bellekom said it was exciting to see this ambitious international joint venture linking ESIA and Curtin University.
“Both our clinical and basic research continue to grow and for us Curtin University is an ideal partner,” Ms Bellekom said.
“William Demant Foundation has a long history of funding research in the brain and hearing space and is excited to be a partner to support our growth to improve hearing health for all.”
ESIA applied to William Demant Foundation for financial support for work in the brain and hearing space and was successful in receiving a financial commitment of $1.25 million AUD over five years.
The partnership with William Demant Foundation will further provide ESIA and Curtin University with access to applied research expertise in hearing, cognition and signal processing from Oticon and Oticon Medical, an industry leader in hearing loss care and research.
ESIA Chairman, John Schaffer said the ultimate aim of the partnership was to develop research which can be translated successfully into improved services for the community – translating science into tangible outcomes.
“This new initiative, together with our collaboration with other Western Australian universities and our recent success with Royal Perth Hospital Foundation, shows us all joining forces to make WA and the regions around us hearing heroes,” Mr Schaffer said.
Curtin University Faculty of Health Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Archie Clements said Curtin’s world-class research capability in medical and health sciences will be enhanced by the close partnership with the ESIA and William Demant Foundation.
“This joint venture will help us to advance the understanding of the connection between early treatment of hearing loss and the onset and prevention of dementia, building on our goal to establish a national centre of excellence in dementia research,” Professor Clements said.
“In collaboration with ESIA, Curtin will also aim to develop new therapies to enhance quality of life for hearing loss sufferers, contributing to our mission to undertake translational research with real-world impact.”
About Curtin University
Curtin University is Western Australia’s largest university, with more than 56,000 students. Of these, about 26 per cent are international students, with half of these studying at the University’s offshore campuses. The University’s main campus is in Perth. Curtin also has a major regional campus in Kalgoorlie, and a campus in Midland, in addition to four global campuses in Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius.
Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide, with the University placed 9th in Australia according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2020.
The University has built a reputation around innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, being at the forefront of many high-profile research projects in astronomy, biosciences, economics, mining and information technology. It is also recognised globally for its strong connections with industry, and for its commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the future.
For further information, visit curtin.edu.au.
About Ear Science Institute Australia (ESIA)
ESIA is a not-for-profit organisation, providing ear and hearing care, education and research and is at the forefront of world-class medical research – taking their breakthroughs from Perth to world. It reinvests funds into research, providing patients with the knowledge that they are part of the global pursuit for a cure for hearing loss for future generations.
ESIA is one of six World Health Organisations collaborating centres for hearing worldwide and focuses on the West Pacific region, where one quarter of the global population resides. ESIA will grow research, clinical initiatives, education and policy.
About William Demant Foundation
William Demant Foundation is a Danish commercial foundation with the objective to secure and develop the corporate activities in Demant A/S and William Demant Invest A/S. William Demant Foundation also supports projects with focus on audiology through donations and grants.
For further information, visit www.williamdemantfonden.dk