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Health Series: Research Spotlight

Project to support translational vision scientists gains EU funding

City’s Crabb Lab is a partner in the OptiVisT project, which will support the lab with funding for two PhD students and training for fellows until 2024.

by Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer)

The OptiVisT (Optimal support of Visually impaired individuals through inclusive Tests and Tools for testing, training and augmenting Functional Vision) project is one of 147 Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks granted funding by the European Commission in May 2020.

The OptiVisT project has been granted € 4 million over four years, and its key mission is to enhance the societal participation of individuals with vision impairment through innovative and inclusive care. To achieve this, the project collaborators call for new knowledge and, in particular, new and innovative tests to assess these individuals’ functional visual abilities, and tools to train and augment them.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks logo

To overcome current roadblocks, and to deliver on its mission, the collaborators suggest we need more Translational Vision Scientists, experts well-grounded in the foundations of vision science, technology and healthcare.

OptiVisT therefore aims to nurture cutting-edge scientists in the EU who will push forward with the scientific and technological breakthroughs needed for new and better solutions for vision care and rehabilitation.

Running until 2024 and led by academics at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, the project includes other academic institutions and business from the UK, Germany, Denmark and other parts of Europe.

As a partner in OptiVisT, the project grant is worth €606,345 to City, University of London and its interdisciplinary Crabb Lab, which will employ two early stage (PhD) research fellows and provide host training sessions for all the network's 15 fellows during the lifetime of the grant.

Professor David Crabb

Commenting on the funding, David Crabb, Professor of Statistics and Vision at City, University of London and leader of the Crabb Lab, said:

“This new grant builds on EU networks that we have carefully nurtured in the past. Our lab was flagged in our last MSCA project as a centre for excellence because of the outputs we generated which included seven research papers in high-ranking journals and two successful PhDs in Dr Daniel Asfaw and Dr Stephen Kelly. We also hosted European researchers who generated outputs and contributed to the research culture in the lab and in Optometry.

These programme grants are unbelievably competitive and the number awarded to the UK this year has dropped for obvious reasons. I think our success illustrates how Optometry at City, University of London is at the centre of international vision research.

Further information

To find out more about the Crabb Lab, visit the website.

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