SAN RAMON, Calif.—To promote continuous advancement in contact lens research and development, CooperVision is now accepting submissions for its 2022 Science and Technology Awards program. The long-standing program fosters partnerships between recipients and CooperVision scientists to explore new dimensions in vision care, with the goal of translating innovative ideas into practical solutions, according to a recent announcement. “The needs of today’s eyecare professionals and contact lens wearers are ever changing,” Francis Erard, CooperVision’s vice president of research and development, said in the announcement.

“As one of the world’s leading manufacturers, we are consistently working to develop products to meet and exceed evolving customer expectations. Through the Science and Technology Awards program, we have cultivated multiple ideas and approaches that have led to significant product innovations. We’re excited for new partnerships that will once again raise the bar.”

Since 2014, the CooperVision program has made grants totaling more than $2 million to investigate matters such as ocular surface health, contact lens discomfort, contact lens functionality, and retinal response to optical defocus. Over the last few years, winning proposals have focused on novel technologies for the characterization of myopia progression and the use of cutting-edge systems to support further understanding of corneal morphology.

In 2022, submissions will be considered for the following subjects:

  • Novel methodologies to enhance global ophthalmic clinical insights, with an emphasis on remote data collection strategies for intercontinental and local assessment of clinical contact lens performance and related ocular physiology.

  • New technologies for the prediction, prevention, and treatment of myopia, including novel ways of collecting information about the visual environment; myopia control modalities and quality of life/visual efficiency measurements; ortho-k applications for myopia management; applications of digital therapeutics for myopia; and intelligent systems (machine learning) and big data approaches for identifying eyes at risk of developing pathology due to refractive error.
Proposals may span proof-of-concept through translational stages and are eligible for two types of awards. The CooperVision Seedling Award is intended for investigation of early-stage concepts for a one-year period, with a maximum grant of $100,000. The CooperVision Translational Research Award is a two-year grant for substantive projects with funding up to $400,000.

CooperVision Science and Technology Awards are open to any researcher with principal investigator (PI) status holding an OD, MD, PhD or equivalent degree. Applicants such as postdoctoral fellows with a waiver of PI status must submit appropriate documentation before funding can be disbursed, according to the announcement.

Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent before July 15, 2022. If a letter is accepted, an applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal. Additional information and the online application are available here.