University of Melbourne Magazine

And there’s more…

  • InnovationThe University boasts many famous and enduring examples of innovation.

    1923 – VEGEMITE
    Australia’s legendary spread was invented by food scientist Cyril Callister, who received a scholarship to study science at the University in 1914. He went on to work for a food processing company, where he transformed yeast cells from brewery waste into a salty black paste. Callister used his research to earn a doctorate from the University in 1931.

    Grayson Clamp

    Professor Graeme Clark led a team of scientists and engineers to invent the Bionic Ear cochlear implant. Inspired by the struggles of his hearing-impaired father, Clark researched ways for sound to bypass the damaged part of the human ear using electrodes to stimulate the auditory nerve. More than 300,000 people have now received implants, including Grayson Clamp (right), seen at the moment his implant was switched on in 2013.

    Recaldent1981 – RECALDENT 
    In 1981, researchers from the University’s Dental School discovered a protein derived from cow’s milk that could be used to repair weakened tooth enamel. Today it is sold under the trademark Recaldent and used as an ingredient in chewing gum and toothpaste.


    2002 – ASICS SHOE
    University physiotherapists partnered with the international shoe brand ASICS to develop a running shoe that combats painful osteoarthritis in the knee joint. They created the ASICS Gel Melbourne OA, a modified shoe that reduces the load on the knee, providing pain relief without drugs or surgery.

    Power lines

    2005 – INTELFUSE
    University software engineers partnered with data analytics company Intelfuse to create an interactive computer platform that monitors power lines and vegetation using laser light technology. This allows utility companies to identify anything that might disrupt power transmission.

    Innovation by numbers…

    Australia's world ranking on innovation according to the Global Innovation Index.

    Australia’s world ranking on innovation according to the Global Innovation Index – below the US, South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore, but above Norway, Israel and China.

    Percentage of growth in developed nations that can be attributed to innovation.Percentage of economic growth in developed nations that can be attributed to innovation. The Australian government invests $10 billion a year in research and development for science and innovation (2.1 per cent of GDP). (Source: Global Innovation Index)