Cochlear Ltd, together with its university partner and many other collaborators, has returned hearing to over 160 000 people thanks to the development of its hearing implant. This book documents the human story behind that development. It delves into the commercial planning and implementation that led to the product’s success in an international, highly competitive market, and the human drama that was experienced in achieving it.
Chapters are structured around the development of the science. Woven within that structure are the personal and business stories that have enabled successful outcomes in the relatively new age of biomedical engineering.
The Cochlear Story aims to put this Australian development on the world map in recognition of Australian medicine, science, technology and business.
New from CSIRO PUBLISHING, the Bright Ideas series explores the innovation, application and continuing impact of major scientific inventions throughout history. From the compass to the bionic ear, each book will provide a fascinating and accessible story on a single invention that has changed our everyday lives.
A model of successful strategies from a technical, business and clinical perspective.
A model for other Australian companies that are attempting similar journeys from lab bench to international markets.
First book in the Bright Ideas series.
Introduction CHAPTER 1.
The beginning: a visionary entrepreneur, Paul Trainor
Also in the beginning: a visionary scientist, Graeme Clark
The champions in government: Ralph Tobias and Ian Macphee
Engineers were vital: David Money and others
A marketeer and a doctor provide evidence of demand: the market study
A prototype became commercially possible: the tiger team
Proof for the regulators: Mike Hirshorn and Dianne Mecklenburg
A global market beckoned: Ron West, Monika Lehnhardt and Sue Roberts
Without surgeons it was just clever engineering: Bill Gibson
The entrepreneur bids adieu: Paul Trainor
A global conglomerate rose and fell: Pacific Dunlop
An Asian expansion became necessary: Japan
A saving grace emerged: Catherine Livingstone
Lives were changed: Li Cunxin and his daughter
The future is promising: Chris Roberts
Software and hardware: development of a clinical system
Photographs and illustrations
Appendix: Interviewees for The Cochlear Story
The general public
Technical, scientific, business and academic communities
Veronica Bondarew has a background in commerce, economics and education. She has always been fascinated by organisational behaviour, an interest that has led to a doctoral thesis on small firm growth in the Australian biotechnology industry. She currently leads a national not-for-profit organisation.
Peter Seligman is a biomedical engineer who worked on the cochlear implant project for 30 years starting in 1979 with the University of Melbourne Department of Otolaryngology and then from 1983 for Cochlear Ltd. His main role was the development of speech processors for cochlear implants but he was also involved in the development of implants, patient testing, electrodes, microphones and sound coding algorithms.