CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation

CRC for cocglear implant and hearing aid technology logo

The CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation (CRC HEAR) was originally funded in 1999 for a seven year period. However due to income from commercial success and member contributions, the centre received Commonwealth approval to continue for an eight year of operation and finally wound down in 2007.

CRC HEAR was recognised internationally as a unique consortium that had a major impact in hearing healthcare. Some of the successes are listed below, with more detail provided at HEARworks, the commercial entity responsible to CRC HEAR and now the HEARing CRC.


Cochlear implant technology

CRC HEAR worked closely with Cochlear Ltd, making a significant contribution to their market growth and share, resulting in export earnings, job creation and royalties. The Centre contributed to the commercial development of various cochlear implant applications:

  • C124M, C124R and C124RE cochlear implants
  • Contour and contour advance cochlear implant electrode arrays
  • ESPrit and ESPrit 3G ear level sound processors
  • Whisper and ADRO sound coding software

Novel implants entered clinical trials through CRC HEAR and this work is being continued through the HEARing CRC. These include the:

  • totally implantable cochlear implant systems (TIKI device)
  • new experimental design ‘Hybrid L’ cochlear implant electrode array

Hearing aid technology

CRC HEAR also developed new technologies associated with hearing aids, the Centre worked closely:

  • with Siemens to develop novel trainable hearing aid technology
  • with Australian Hearing’s, National Acoustic Lab to develop NAL-NL1 non linear hearing aid fitting software

Clinical applications

HearLab is a computer based audiological test platform that was again developed with Australian Hearing’s, National Acoustic Lab.

The Diary of Early Language (Di-EL) was developed through CRC HEAR as a tool for monitoring early word development.


CRC HEAR developed a sound protection algorithm and associated technology that can be used to protect against acoustic shock.

Research applications

The SPEAR 3 research system was developed by CRC HEAR and can be used for cochlear implant and acoustic research.

"The distinguished achievements of CRC HEAR are to be commended: this investigation has confirmed the deserved reputation of the CRC as an Australian centre of excellence of the highest calibre, with exciting future potential."

Independent Assessment of Achievement
Access Economic report for CRC HEAR
June 2006