The University of Waterloo’s global hub for eye and vision research is taking on some of vision science’s most pressing challenges through five strategic research programs aimed to generate technologies to prevent vision loss and preserve healthy vision.
The Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR), located in Hong Kong’s Science and Technology Park (HKSTP), is one of twenty-eight InnoHK global research centres funded by the Hong Kong government’s multibillion-dollar InnoHK initiative pairing top ranking global universities with local Hong Kong institutions. CEVR is unique among these InnoHK centres as one of only three equal partnerships between the Hong Kong institute and the global university, solidifying Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science as a leading global institution in vision research ranking fifth in the world.
For Bob Lemieux, Waterloo’s dean of Science, one of the most exciting aspects of CEVR’s location is the increased opportunity for learning and collaboration amongst researchers from many global institutions in one place.
“International collaborations are becoming the standard for addressing societal needs,” says Lemieux. “While CEVR is focused on the biggest challenges in vision science, there are other InnoHK centres next door to CEVR working on health-related areas like neurodegenerative diseases, microbiology and advanced biomedical instrumentation. They each operate in the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem of Hong Kong Science Park to build an incredible pool of talent and hopefully one in which we’ll be able to cross-fertilize and develop new collaborations in health-based research.”
Translating research into a commercialized and sustainable business model is CEVR’s long-term goal. Strategically positioned in one of Asia’s diverse start-up ecosystems, technologies developed at CEVR will first be approved in China and Hong Kong, leading to greater commercialization opportunities in the Asian market where rates of myopia and dry eye disease are high.