Global Program Enables Ophthalmic Researchers to Pursue New Concepts in Contact Lens Research and Development

To foster continuous advancement in contact lens research and development, CooperVision is now accepting submissions for its 2023 Science and Technology Awards program. The longstanding program enables researchers around the world to explore new dimensions in vision care, with the goal of translating innovative ideas into practical solutions.

“Our relentless drive to discover new ways to meet the current and future needs of eye care professionals and contact lens wearers is what keeps CooperVision at the forefront of product development,” said Francis Erard, CooperVision’s Vice President of Research & Development. “The Science and Technology Awards program extends the path to innovation outside of our own organization, providing opportunities to some of the brightest minds in the field to pursue research and make progress toward solving the vision challenges for which they are most passionate.”

Each year, CooperVision determines specific areas of focus for the Science and Technology Awards program. In 2023, submissions will be considered for the following subjects:

  • Understanding childhood myopia development, including pathogenesis, mechanisms, and risk factors
  • New methods to prevent the onset of myopia, including prophylactic technologies and novel proposals for glasses, contact lenses, interactive and combination therapies
  • Strategies to prevent the development of symptomatology in new contact lens wearers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and early intervention therapies, understanding biochemical changes in newly fitted wearers over time, and controlled release technologies for delivery of beneficial agents, as well as approaches to improve moisture retention
  • The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on contact lens fitting and diagnosis, including applications for optometry and orthokeratology (ortho-k) with technologies such as ChatGPT, Bard, and more.

Since 2014, the CooperVision program has made grants totaling more than $2 million to investigate a wide variety of topics that have led to notable advancements in product design and development, as well as to directly inform approaches in clinical care. For example, research exploring causes and treatment for contact lens discomfort conducted by two past recipients of the Science and Technology Awards has resulted in widespread citations from professional peers.

Dr. Laura Downie, Associate Professor in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne, also built on findings from her award-funded contact lens discomfort research to pursue additional studies to increase knowledge on this topic. Dr. Ping Situ, Associate Scientist at the Indiana University School of Optometry, received funding for two studies examining the correlation between discomfort and the sensory response. Dr. Situ is scheduled to present findings of her latest research on the topic at the upcoming British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Conference & Exhibition in June.

“CooperVision’s Science and Technology Awards program has been highly valuable to my career development and others for more than a decade. It was instrumental in my ability to employ my first dedicated contact lens research staff member in my laboratory in 2015,” said Dr. Downie. “It has been fantastic to collaborate with leading scientists and clinicians at CooperVision to develop ideas and to pursue exciting research that has now evolved over several years into a substantial research program.”

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.

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 23, 2023. If a letter is accepted, an applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal. Additional information and the online application are available at

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About CooperVision

CooperVision, a division of CooperCompanies (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of contact lenses. The company produces a full array of daily disposable, two-week and monthly soft contact lenses that feature advanced materials and optics, and premium rigid gas permeable lenses for orthokeratology and scleral designs. CooperVision has a strong heritage of addressing the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism, presbyopia, childhood myopia, and highly irregular corneas; and offers the most complete portfolio of spherical, toric, and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit

About CooperCompanies

CooperCompanies (“Cooper”) is a global medical device company publicly traded on the NYSE (NYSE:COO). Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. CooperVision brings a refreshing perspective on vision care with a commitment to developing a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical is committed to advancing the health of women, babies, and families with its diversified portfolio of products and services focusing on medical devices and fertility & genomics. Headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., Cooper has a workforce of more than 14,000 with products sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit

Media Contact

Heather Kowalczyk, APR, McDougall Communications for CooperVision or (585) 434-2148