SAN RAMON, Calif.—To drive innovation in the industry through continuous contact lens research and development, CooperVision is now accepting submissions for its 2021 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. “As a leading global manufacturer of contact lenses, CooperVision has brought to market many breakthrough products, but we never stop raising the bar and working for what comes next,” said Francis Erard, CooperVision’s vice president of research & development.

“Over the years, our partnerships through the Science and Technology Awards Program have resulted in notable advancements in product design and development. We look forward to seeing what this year’s applicants have in store.”

Since 2014, the 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.

In 2021, submissions will be considered for the following subjects:

• New technologies for the prediction, prevention, and treatment of myopia, including understanding the impact of environmental factors and the COVID-19 pandemic on myopia progression, and novel monitoring and tracking methods.

• Sustainable materials and technologies for storage and transport of contact lenses and contact lens care solutions.

• Contact lens technologies aimed at protecting the eye from common ocular conditions, including age-related changes, dry eye, digital eye strain, and environmental insults, with emphasis on: beneficial ocular health compounds for delivery to the ocular surface; controlled release technologies to improve ocular moisture retention / eye health; wavelength-blocking/color additive technologies; understanding scleral lens benefits for dry eye and allergies; and other medical applications of contact lenses.

• Technologies to elevate visual performance with contact lenses, with emphasis on: enhanced night vision; technologies to improve the optical quality of the tear film; and technologies to increase contrast and/or reduce light scatter.

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. It is intended to incentivize collaboration with CooperVision in new research areas.

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.

Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent before June 25, 2021. If a letter is accepted, an applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal. Additional information and the online application are available here.