Photo: Novartis

Seeking Innovative Ideas to Improve Eye Health Globally

By Dorje Mundle, Head, Corporate Responsibility Management, Novartis

Seeking Innovative Ideas to Improve Eye Health Globally

Do you have an innovative idea that could improve eye health worldwide? The deadline for applications for the eXcellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award (XOVA) 2014 ( is 30 June 2014.

The XOVA is a scheme, sponsored by Alcon and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, that provides funding to support initiatives aiming to address unmet needs in eye care. With around 90% of the world’s visually impaired living in developing countries, there is a grave need to adopt sustainable approaches that will improve eye health in the long term.

And there numerous innovative ways of doing just that, as has become evident from previous XOVA entries and winners. Among the wide range of educational and technology-focused projects, initiatives have included improving eye care in children, reaching rural communities, providing training and education, building or expanding eye-care centers, and installing or improving technology. In all cases, the projects have come up with solutions that can be sustained in the region in the long-term, after the funds from the XOVA have run out.

In the past 4 years alone, over 431 applications from 60 different countries have been submitted for the XOVA, and 16 different projects have received funding – totaling Euro 650,000 altogether.

So, if you are an eye care professional looking to improve eye health globally, we would like to hear from you. Your innovative approach will be assessed by a panel of 35 independent international experts. The winners will be notified and presented the grant at a ceremony at an upcoming congress.

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