The creation of a cortical visual prosthesis is highly multidisciplinary in nature, spanning fields such as neuroengineering, brain imaging, computer modelling, virtual reality, human and primate psychophysics, wireless communications and power, and clinical neuroscience.
NESTOR covers each of these areas, bringing together world-leading academic and industry partners that contribute unique, essential knowledge and expertise to the project.
The consortium is uniquely positioned to test and develop the requisite microstimulation technology in non-human primates, with the combined expertise to tailor the prosthesis to the needs of blind people. Our academic members are based in the Netherlands, with research labs at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Radboud University, and the University of Twente.
Our initiative is funded by a Dutch STW Perspectief grant. The mission of the Perspectief programme is to stimulate innovation in the life sciences and facilitate partnerships between scientists, businesses, and non-profit organizations. STW is part of the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and receives funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and other organizations.
NESTOR also receives strong support from its industrial partners, consisting of: Blackrock Microsystems, ATLAS Neuroengineering, and TMSi (leading manufacturers for brain-machine interfaces); Brain Innovation (the number-one provider of brain imaging and analysis software); Elitac (specialists in haptic feedback and sensory processing); Vicarvision (experts in artificial intelligence and image processing); and AEMICS, Bluemark and Tiberion (specialists in chip fabrication, microelectronics, and wireless technology).
The consortium works closely together with an advisory team, as well as representatives from organizations for the blind and the visually impaired, including Royal Dutch Visio, the Oogvereniging and Bartiméus. These organizations provide us with ongoing feedback and input, to ensure that the implant design meets the needs of blind patients, as well as critical advice on the selection and recruitment of patients.
The NESTOR consortium comprises the following research organisations:
The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Radboud University, and the University of Twente. © Copyright 2018 NESTOR. All Rights Reserved.