The Australian Government has awarded A$50m to two research teams to develop a device that brings back vision to blind patients suffering from degenerative retinal conditions.

The Australian Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr said that the bionic eye shows potential to deliver health benefits.

“The research teams submitted leading-edge, innovative bionic eye concepts that include significant collaboration and show an exceptional ability to deliver health and economic benefits,” Carr said.

The first team will use a technology that implants a device in the back of the eye and the second team will develop a device that is implanted directly on the area of the brain that processes vision signals.