Cylite Founders honoured by award of Prime Ministers’ Prize for Innovation

Cylite Founders honoured by award of Prime Ministers’ Prize for Innovation

Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation winner sees a very bright future for innovation in Ophthalmology. And he’s putting his prize money into helping create it.

Cylite is proud to congratulate two of our team, Dr Simon Poole and CEO Dr Steve Frisken for their prestigious Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation which was presented at Parliament House on 17th of October.

Steve and Simon have been working to transform the optical telecommunication networks, developing the optical switching technologies that have been instrumental in efficiently connecting the global internet. It is for those successes, they have received this award.

Not content to reflect on their achievements in building these critical infrastructures, they now they look to even bigger and more rewarding opportunities, revolutionising the way that optics is used to image the human eye, involving ultra-precise 3D imaging and in revealing the huge diagnostic power of colour in the retina.

They see two technologies as key to this vision:

Hyperparallel Optical Coherence Tomography (HP-OCT™) which was first conceived and patented by Steve and his brother Grant, is now providing exquisite 3D images of live human eyes in clinical trials through the instrument that Cylite has developed ( and,

Hyperspectral Imaging, which together with machine learning, can render and interpret the subtle nuances of the colour of the retina to understand potential disease progression – and importantly not just for diseases of the eye.

Dr Frisken has announced that he is donating his share of the $250,000 Innovation Prize to further research into this emerging field. In a joint project he is sponsoring research (ttps:// that brings together Artificial Intelligence techniques developed in Astrophysics at Swinburne University and the ophthalmology expertise of the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and Melbourne University.

“It is truly inspiring to me that the spectrum of light, whose different colours are central to inter-connecting us all through a web of optical fibres across the globe also brings information to us about farthest galaxies or reveals hidden information through satellite imagery. These same photons and colours can also be used to probe the tiniest structures of the eye.”, said Dr Frisken.  “I’m thrilled in helping to enable this this multi-disciplinary research which leverages discoveries and world-best expertise from these apparently disparate fields.  The outcomes could be revolutionary in providing a window to non-invasive screening and support of therapies for many diseases of our ageing population”.

Media Contacts:

Dr Steven Frisken (CEO)
Tel: +61 401 287 047

Centre for Eye Research Australia
Emily Woodhams
Tel: +61 3 9929 8970 or mobile: +61 408 370 959

Swinburne University of Technology
Lea Kivivali
Tel: +61 410 569 311 or +61 3 9214 5428

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