Introducing Bionics Queensland

Accelerating bionic innovations to transform lives


Bionics Queensland is connecting great ideas with great minds – we’re bringing scientists, researchers, healthcare consumers, clinicians and investors together to take bionic innovations to the next level.

Working together and building on the extraordinary success of the cochlear implant (bionic ear), we will see many more remarkable discoveries to restore and enhance human function – bionic senses, bionic organs and implants, neural and AI-enabled devices, brain-machine-interfaces and treatments.

‘I am proud to tell you about my vision, partnering here in Australia around the world to fast-track bionic solutions.’

Dr Dimity Dornan AO – Founder of Bionics Queensland

A vision for human bionics…a passion for a better world

Helping children and adults to access and benefit from the bionic ear and now, other lifechanging medical bionic technologies are my life’s focus.

At Hear and Say, which I founded some 30 years ago, I have seen literally thousands of families experience the joy of their child ‘switched on’ to the bionic ear. A new world opens up from that day forward. The profoundly deaf learn to listen, speak and read, they enjoy a normal school life and, they go on to forge successful careers.

As Professor Clarke said, ‘the first ever ‘switch-on’ was also the very first time the human brain, human consciousness and a replaced human function were linked’.

The bionic ear, the world’s first moon-shot discovery in human bionics, opened the gate to a tsunami of potential new discoveries. It was slow at first, but there is no doubt the tide has turned. The wave of lifechanging bionic devices, implants and treatments is building and with it my goal to transform lives.

Human bionic interfaces brings the prospect of fuller participation for millions of people with previously untreatable conditions.

I see an image of the dark eyes of a sturdy toddler gazing back at me. In a twist of fate, a diagnosis of Usher syndrome for this youngster, now well into manhood, would seerapid loss of his sight. It was bleak news indeed, and yet I am struck by a level of optimism made possible only by the many breakthroughs in human bionics I see unfolding.

Now, more than ever before, we can envisage new bionic pathways back to optimal health and wellbeing.

Professor Graeme Clark’s multi-channel bionic ear was first implanted in a child with profound hearing loss in 1987. It was in anticipation of the possibilities for auditory brain access which this Australian innovation could bring for children born severely or profoundly deaf that I founded Hear and Say.

More recently, this interface between humans and bionic devices has expanded to cover not only the ear, but also many other areas of the body, vastly increasing the potential for bionics devices to treat previously untreatable medical conditions. Human bionics now has the potential to not only transform the lives of people with organ problems, brain disease, blindness, limb amputation, paralysis or other disorders, but also to become a high-growth, science-based industry for Australia.

‘The world changed for me the day the multichannel bionic ear was first implanted in a child with profound hearing loss’.

Dr Dimity Dornan AO – Founder of Bionics Queensland

Once unified, talented individuals in all areas will be able to accelerate an array of human bionics breakthroughs. Bringing all parties together in an expanding human bionics “living laboratory” will enable people in all corners of the globe to lead more fulfilling lives.

By 2035, I anticipate that our concept of “human” will have been tempered by the advent of new bionics devices to alleviate a number of medical conditions and enhance human performance. But ethical policies must be developed with some urgency to govern their use.

Nowhere is the need for acceleration, collaboration and co-ordination of the bionics industry more humanised than in the words of engineer, Bionics Queensland Board member and quadruple amputee, Matthew Ames.

“Everything I do from the moment I wake up each day involves some form of device. My bionics are part of me. They need to be expertly designed, locally sourced, easy to repair and masterfully programmed to help me live life to the fullest. This requires great communication, expertise and collaboration between many bionics industry professionals. There are still many challenges to overcome and improved devices will transform not just my life, but the lives of many.”


Dr Dimity Dornan AO

Founder of Bionics Queensland

Bionics Challenge 2021

Bionics Challenge 2021, delivered in partnership with the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (Qld) has provided over $300k in combined Cash Prizes, Mentoring and Acceleration.

Major Partner

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Motor Accident Insurance Commission

The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) Queensland is our major funding partner. The rehabilitation of Queenslanders impacted by road accident trauma, disabilities and chronic health conditions underpins our highly valued partnership.


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University of Queensland logo
University of the Sunshine Coast logo
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Join us

We will discover, innovate and achieve more with you involved!