Bionics Challenge winners revealed

Recovery and the technology to improve the quality of life for people impacted by road trauma is a highlight of the winning entries in Bionics Queensland’s Bionics Challenge 2021.

As a proud sponsor, MAIC is honoured to support this unique Queensland-led competition that is designed to fast-track medical bionic innovations geared towards improving the lives of those living with serious injuries or loss of vital functions as a result of road trauma, complex disabilities and chronic disease.

MAIC Insurance Commissioner, Neil Singleton, was thrilled to see the innovations brought to the Bionics Challenge table for the competition.

“While reducing road trauma is a key focus of our team at MAIC, we are proud supporters of breakthrough medical devices, treatments and technological discoveries that improve recovery and reduce the mental and physical toll of their impairments.

“This year’s Bionics Challenge did not disappoint with teams pitching pioneering technology ranging from a tuneable headset that can read brainwaves to the world’s first, natural-sounding artificial voice box that is powered by artificial intelligence and worn as a non-invasive headset.

“These innovations have the potential to vastly improve the recovery and quality of life for Queenslanders who are impacted by road trauma,” Mr Singleton said.

In partnership with MAIC, Bionics Challenge 2021 awarded four $50,000 major category prizes and a total of $40,000 in prizes in addition to mentoring a suite of promising, early-stage bionic innovation teams.


Bionic Mobility $50,000 Major Category Winner
Griffith University Professor of Bionics, Dr Laurent Frossard and his team
Dr Frossard’s team is developing Thomax 2.0, a first-ever, non-invasive and easy-to-use diagnostic device allowing differential diagnosis of implant stability that is essential to the success of osseointegrated limbs in rehabilitation and everyday life. This innovation will help manage the stability and safety of the bionic limb and deliver further improvements in mobility and quality of life for amputees.

Bionic Senses Category $50,000 Major Category Winner
University of Queensland innovator, Dr Anna Hatton and her team of local and international collaborators.
Dr Hatton’s team is developing Augmented Vibrotexture, a breakthrough orthotic that is set to restore balance and foot sensation to those who live with the impacts of foot-nerve damage and neuropathy. The new insole will deliver the right level and type of tactile stimuli at the right time to improve overall balance and mobility.

Bionic Implants and Organs $50,000 Major Category Winner
Dr Farry Ahmadi and her team of innovators at Laronix, a fast emerging, Queensland-based medtech startup.
The Laronix Bionic Voice Box is the world’s first, natural-sounding artificial voice box for larynx amputees that is enabled by artificial intelligence and worn as a non-invasive headset.

Bionics, the Brain, Neurotech and AI $50,000 Major Category Winner
Cortex Brainwave Technologies, co-founded by Casey Pfluger and Amy-Rose Goodey.
Cortex is developing a new ‘tuneable’ near-infrared Neurosensor and a new Brain-Computer-Interface therapy for the 1 in 5 Australians affected by acquired brain injury, learning disabilities, stroke, ADHD and autism.

Early Stage Bionics Innovation Award winners
The four winning teams that will each receive $10,000 to further advance their innovation

  • Central Queensland University’s Dr Vanesa Bochkezanian and her team of innovators from Australia, India and South America who are advancing E-Stimulation therapies for people impacted by neurological trauma and spinal cord injuries (SCI).
  • University of Queensland, bio-medical innovator, Dr Antonio Bo and his collaborators at UQ and Metro North Hospital and Health Services who are developing VR-AR enabled sensory rehabilitation to accelerate occupational therapy for individuals with upper limb conditions.
  • Two Brisbane-based brothers and designers, Andrew and David Peterson who are developing Gyrite, a haptic wearable that gives people with severe balance dysfunction the sensory feedback they need to stay upright.
  • Queensland Brain Institute research leader, Dr Matilde Balbi and her team are developing an individualised treatment for stroke recovery. This integrative and innovative system is set to employ automated monitoring of brain activity and AI-enabled computations to inform a customised approach to brain stimulation for stroke survivors.

Mr Singleton thanked all applicants for their entries in this year’s highly competitive Bionics challenge and encouraged them to continue their work in the Bionics space.

“I would also like to thank Robyn Stokes, Dimity Dornan and the rest of the Bionics Queensland team for organising and hosting another successful Bionics Challenge particularly given the COVID-related disruptions along the way,” Mr Singleton said.

For more information or to follow the exciting developments of this year’s Bionics Challenge winners visit:

Last modified 23 September 2021


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