Tuesday, 15 September 2020

MedUni Vienna and Ottobock receive CDG Prize for Research and Innovation

CTO Dr Andreas Goppelt and Prof Dr Oskar Aszmann

Austrian Federal Minister Dr. Schramböck tests intuitively controlled prostheses

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Austrian ‚Christian Doppler Research Society‘ (CDG), the CDG Prize for Research and Innovation was awarded for the first time. At a press conference, the Austrian Federal Minister for Digitalisation and Business Location, Dr Margarete Schramböck, announced the award winners Prof Dr Oskar Aszmann from the Medical University of Vienna together with Ottobock CTO Dr Andreas Goppelt. From 2012 to 2019, the prize-winners researched, in the associated CD laboratory, the position and function of nerves and muscles to intuitively control arm movements.

The so-called pattern recognition uses eight electrodes to measure movement patterns of the muscles in the forearm stump and assigns these to specific hand movements or grips. When patients reach for a bottle of water, the Myo Plus prosthesis control unit recognises the corresponding movement pattern and gives the prosthesis the command to perform the respective grip or rotation. This happens automatically. Ottobock has been providing users with the Myo Plus pattern recognition since 2019.

The Federal Minister had the opportunity to try out the prosthesis control system. Ottobock employee and former para-athlete Patrick Mayrhofer explained to her how she can move a bionic hand prosthesis with the own muscle movements of her forearm. They also talked about his everyday life with his prosthesis and how his two children think about the hand prosthesis.

Mayrhofer suffered an electrical accident in 2008 and decided to have his left hand amputated. He was fitted with the world's first bionic hand prosthesis called 'Michelangelo' by Prof Aszmann.

Federal Minister Dr. Schramböck emphasised: "The promotion of long-term cooperation between business and science makes an important contribution on the way to becoming an international innovation leader and strengthens Austria as a business location". The Minister will present the trophy at the official CDG award ceremony on 11 September.

Ottobock CTO Dr Andreas Goppelt thanked for the award: "I would like to thank the CDG, which has made such an important contribution to science and innovation in Austria for 25 years. We are therefore even more pleased that our long-standing partner at MedUni Vienna, Prof Aszmann, has been awarded the CDG Prize for Research and Innovation together with Ottobock! Fundamental scientific research is very important for an innovative company like Ottobock because only the knowledge of underlying biological mechanisms enables the development of new concepts and products, such as the Myo Plus pattern recognition or Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) for arm prostheses. Ottobock Vienna is closely linked to the CD laboratory. It offers an ideal opportunity to pursue new approaches that would pose high economic risks without funding.”

The CEO of Ottobock Philipp Schulte-Noelle also congratulates: "Congratulations on your 25th anniversary! I am very grateful for the CDG Prize for Research and Innovation. The long-term cooperation with the CDG shows how academic excellence and industry are successfully researching for the benefit of mobility-impaired people and giving users the chance to maintain or regain their freedom of movement. This is firmly anchored in our DNA and future strategy and will be continued together with CDG.”

About the Christian Doppler Research Society

The Christian Doppler Research Society has been facilitating intensive research cooperation between science and industry in Austria since 1995. More than 400 corporate partners benefited from fundamental scientific research and innovation. It thus makes an important contribution to excellent science, innovation and a strong location for Austria.

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Lisa Marx

PR Manager

+49 30 398 206 224

Lisa.Marx@ottobock.de