Former Chief Scientist at Cochlear Joins the iBIONICS Team

[fa icon="calendar"] May 9, 2017



iBIONICS Attracts Leading Bionic Scientist, Professor Jim Patrick, to Post of Advisory Board Chair


The iBIONICS Diamond Eye team is delighted to announce that Professor Jim Patrick of cochlear implant fame has joined as Chair of the iBIONICS Advisory Board. Professor Patrick was part of the early development team of the cochlear implant, and has been a key member of the team that has seen Cochlear Limited grow to a company that has supplied implants to over 300,000 hearing impaired people worldwide.



Professor Patrick brings with him a wealth of knowledge about biomedical implant ecosystems, and connections to many experts in this field. The concept and original prototypes of the cochlear implant originated from the University of Melbourne, which is also where the Diamond Eye has been conceived and developed.


Professor Patrick has over 30 years of experience in taking technology from the lab to a global medical market first hand. Cochlear market capitalization now exceeds US$10B, demonstrating that ‘business for the good’ can also be ‘very good business.’ iBIONICS aims to do for blindness what Cochlear has done for hearing.


“I am very pleased to join iBIONICS in an advisory capacity,” says Professor Patrick. “The iBIONICS technology is novel and offers a very exciting way to deliver visual information to the retina. However, there are still many challenges in bringing the bionic eye to market and making it the standard of care. I will be applying my broad experience with the cochlear implant to these challenges and hope to contribute to the translation of the prototype device into an effective product that will change the lives of recipients. There are many parallels between the development of the Diamond Eye technology and the development of the cochlear implant and I believe that the iBIONICS products have the potential to improve the quality of life of people with impaired vision just as Cochlear products improve the quality of life of people with impaired hearing.”


As Chair of the iBIONICS Advisory Board, Professor Patrick will advise iBIONICS on building a global commercial company. This will include focus on strategic investing partners, manufacturing, distribution, patient outreach, patient experience, regulatory procedures, innovative thinking, and quality assurance protocols.


“It is a real thrill that Professor Jim Patrick is joining us,” says Professor Steven Prawer, iBIONICS Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer. “I’ve known Jim for a long time and his reputation, knowledge, background and network is second to none in the biomedical implant industry. Jim was there from the very beginning, soldering components together to create the first bionic ear. We hope that just like he helped guide Cochlear from those early beginnings into a global bionic solution company, he can help to guide iBIONICS to international success.”


iBIONICS Advisory Board


As Chair of iBIONICS Advisory Board, Professor Patrick will consult with the Executive to recruit members of the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will have expertise across all of the aspects of the global business of iBIONICS and beyond.




2016 national winners of the Startup Canada Innovation Award and the Creative Business Cup, iBIONICS is an early stage life sciences company specializing in wireless nano-implants and neuromodulation.


iBIONICS’ inaugural solution, The Diamond Eye, is designed to deliver artificial vision so a man who sees darkness can again see his wife’s face, and a playing child can be seen by her grandmother.  By 2020, 200 million people worldwide will be living with degenerative retinal diseases, age-related macular degeneration and retinitus pigmentosa, leading causes of blindness. The cost of AMD in Europe and North America alone is $56 billion per annum.


The Diamond Eye core technology was inspired by Cochlear, the $US10B global company that has helped over 450,000 deaf people to hear.  Professor Steven Prawer, world-renowned materials scientist and Cofounder of iBIONICS, invented a new innovative way of approaching implants. This unique nanotechnology is packaged in diamond electrodes that stimulates neural tissue.


Neural technology and electric medicine have attracted interest of Silicon Valley super entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerburg. Retinal implants are the fastest growing vertical in electric medicine today.


This born-global startup is headquartered in Ottawa-Gatineau with medical operations in Montreal and an R&D subsidiary in Melbourne, Australia. They are current residents at Cambridge Innovation Center, in the US as part of a  life-science accelerator operated by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.


For more information, please contact suzanne@ibionics.ca, 613-697-8818


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