CRC for Implant, Speech and Hearing Research

The CRC for Implant, Speech and Hearing Research was selected for funding in 1992, the inaugural funding round of the Commonwealth’s Cooperative Research Centre program. Many of the innovations that were celebrated by the subsequent CRC HEAR were initiated in this first Centre, for example:

  • the advance cochlear implant electrode array, designed for better positioning in the cochlear
  • better speech processing for cochlear implant users (later to become Whisper and ADRO)
  • SoundShield technology to protect call centre workers
  • NAL-NL1 hearing aid fitting software.


Some of the technologies developed during the life span of this Centre include:

Nucleus 24 implant system

Combining an advanced ‘receiver-stimulator’ for picking up and transmitting sounds to the implanted parts of the cochlear implant, with a choice of body worn speech processors.

Tickler talker

Electrotactile hearing and speech aid, delivering a coded speech signal through 8 electrodes worn as a glove on one hand. The innovation missed a niche opportunity and was overtaken by improved benefits of cochlear implant technology in the early 1990s.

Computer Aided Speech and language Assessment (CASALA)

Stand alone software designed to help speech pathologists and other people interested in spoken language to transcribe and analyse phonetic and some micro-syntactic aspects of speech samples.