Australia has a strong and well-deserved international reputation in hearing research and innovation. The HEARing CRC is the third hearing-related Cooperative Research Centre funded through the Commonwealth’s CRC Programme in 2007. It includes many of the members from the previous CRCs, a key element that has enabled it to rapidly build on their success.
The two previous hearing related CRCs were:
- CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation (1999-2007)
- CRC for Implant, Speech and Hearing Research (1992-1999).
Research activity has grown and evolved across the three CRCs. The first centre focused almost exclusively on activities directed towards the profoundly deaf. During the second CRC, the focus was broadened to include other types of hearing loss and auditory processing disorders such as tinnitus. The most recent centre introduced the clinical processes associated with hearing. The five-year extension period of the HEARing CRC (2014-19) takes all of the previous elements and adds prevention of hearing loss, considering aging and genetic factors as well as targeting protective devices.
Prior to these centres, many of the same organisations and Melbourne based researchers were involved in the Human Communication Research Centre between 1988 and 1996.
HEARing CRC funding Extended
In 2014, the HEARing CRC received a five year funding extension from the CRC Programme to continue developing new devices, therapies and service delivery models to improve the prevention, detection and remediation of hearing disorders.
This funding (an additional $28 million) will allow the HEARing CRC to continue its research into developing:
- New insights into the brain’s processing of sound enabling novel tools to target diagnosis and remediation;
- Next generation hearing aids and cochlear implants with enhanced capabilities; evidence-based guidelines for candidature, fitting and rehabilitation that match technologies and services to individual patient needs; and
- Self-fitting and web-based hearing healthcare delivery models that enable improved access for regional and remote communities.