Alcon, the global leader in eye care, is delighted that the British Contact Lens Association has awarded members of our Research and Development team – Erich Bauman, OD and Dr. John Pruitt – during the 2021 BCLA Awards ceremony for their outstanding contribution to the contact lens industry and profession. Their invention and development of water gradient technology, featured notably in DAILIES® TOTAL1® contact lenses, were recognised with the 2021 Industry Award.

More than 100 scientists, engineers and clinicians across two continents worked closely together over the course of 10 years to solve dozens of complex technical challenges. This work resulted in more than 100 patents during the development of water gradient technology, which is nearing its 10-year anniversary. Erich Bauman led the overall DAILIES TOTAL1 program that co-developed the chemistries and novel manufacturing process while Dr. John Pruitt led the team that developed the separate core and surface chemistries of water gradient technology.

Water gradient technology has been a significant evolution in comfort through an ultra-soft, high water surface gel combined with the oxygen transmission advantages of a silicone-rich core material.1, 2, 3 This technology has made a difference for our eye care professionals and their patients, with nine out of 10 DAILIES TOTAL1 contact lens wearers agreeing that the lens is so comfortable it feels like nothing.4

Erich Bauman, Senior Director of Vision Care Development, Alcon, said, “We continually strive to foster a culture of innovation within our R&D community. Perhaps most rewarding for our team is knowing that an enormous number of contact lens wearers around the world wake up each day and insert a new pair of DAILIES TOTAL1 lenses, and their lives are better for it. I am both honoured and humbled to receive this award on behalf of the team who worked so passionately to bring this innovation to the eye care market.”

Dr. John Pruitt, Senior Director of Vision Care Research, Alcon, said, “I am extremely honoured to be recognized by the BCLA for our water gradient technology that is still so important today. I am proud of our chemistry and engineering teams that were able to optimize the surface and core materials separately to achieve both extremely high oxygen transmission and an ultra-soft, high water surface. These characteristics often work against each other and the team overcame many difficult obstacles to achieve what was once considered unachievable.”

Eye care professionals: see instructions for use for contact lens wear, care, precautions, warnings, contraindications and adverse effects. Consumers should consult their eye care professional.


  1. Thekveli S, Qui Y, Kapoor Y, et al. Structure-property relationship of delefilcon A lenses. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2012;35(Supp 1):e14.
  2. T, Nixon R, Dunn A, et al. Viscoelasticity and mesh-size at the surface of hydrogels characterized with microheology. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:E-Abstract 500.
  3. Based on published manufacturer-provided Dk and thickness values in Tyler’s Quarterly Soft Contact Lens Parameter Guide, June 2020.
  4. Perez-Gomez I, Giles T. European survey of contact lens wearers and eye care professionals on satisfaction with a new water gradient daily disposable contact lens. Clinical Optometry. 2014;6:17-23.