Wounded warriors with traumatic eye injuries may have a chance to see again with the support of a new research effort called the Horus Vision Restoration Project coordinated by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
The project will be designed to restore sight through an artificial prosthetic eye. Researchers hope to develop a prototype within five years.
"It will take a lot of people working together to make it happen," said Dr. Kenneth Bertram, USAMRMC Principal Assistant for Acquisition.
The Horus Vision Restoration Project is the first project launched under the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium. MTEC is a newly established 501(c)(3) corporation created to open new avenues of opportunity for USAMRMC with large and small companies, universities, foundations, and other entities to develop forward-looking medical technology solutions in an accelerated timeframe through flexible and innovative business practices.
"It is a mechanism to build partnerships [public and private entities] that will benefit warfighters and civilians," said Dr. Frazier Glenn, USAMRMC Principal Assistant for Research and Technology.
Leadership held a pre-proposal conference regarding METC management at the Military Health System Research Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Aug. 19. A final solicitation for management is expected to be released in October 2014. The award is expected to be granted in the spring of 2015.
"This is a 10-year award," said J.B. Phillips, Ph.D., Office of the Principal Assistant for Acquisitions at USAMRMC. "USAMRMC would fund the first six months and up to two years if needed."
Bertram said other METC projects that could design and provide care during medical evacuation in high risk environments, such as under hostile fire, and reduce the cost, weight and complexity of prosthetics.
"[METC] will improve flexibility and allow for discussions with partners that keep us moving ahead," added Glenn.
For more information on the solicitation, see FedBizOps.gov (www.fbo.gov), solicitation number W81XWH-14-MTEC.