Founder and Director of VisionBridge
After 5 years as Director of Development and then Senior Adviser to a leading eye research charity, Julian launched “VisionBridge” in June 2016, supported by a growing nationwide group of academic researchers, clinician scientists, clinicians and patient advocates. He continues to build on the work he started in 2014 to support innovators, promote eye health, increase the awareness and understanding of sight loss and introduce the extraordinary world of eye research to the public, eye health professionals, patients and the wider Visually Impaired community across the UK.
Julian lost his sight in 2010 to a retinal inherited disease and has a personal and professional interest in the daily battles being waged in hospitals and universities across the UK to prevent sight loss, treat eye disease, restore sight and improve the quality of life for patients through enhanced rehabilitation.
He comments: “In the face of so much scientific progress, the usual barriers to leisure and travel activities, maintaining a chosen livelihood, mobility, independence and emotional well being will continue to dissipate. However, we need to continue the momentum behind innovation and more effectively connect private wealth and venture capital with the very best inventors and innovators. We must also get out there and give eye research a profile that is noticeable, create an image that is recognizable, speak in a language that is understandable and build a context that is inspirational!”
Eye research is still relatively poorly funded and unknown and remains the best kept secret amongst the UK research community, sight loss charities and their supporters, relevant government agencies, eye health professionals and patients and members of the public. This is despite the many impressive breakthroughs and developments delivered by the world class UK eye research community over the last 50 years.
At VisionBridge, we believe this situation needs to change rapidly. We need to measurably improve the level of awareness around sight loss and eye health, develop sustainable additional funding streams directly into eye research with a minimum of overheads and running costs as well as streamline and boost the commercial pipeline into emerging technologies, treatments, diagnostics and instrumentation.
Launched in 2016, VisionBridge offers a new way forward, comprised of a growing community of corporate innovators, patient advocates, health executives and world class UK based academic researchers and clinician scientists. Members of this group are available to provide talks on research activity and service delivery across a wide range of areas.
VisionBridge is focused on sustaining innovation, promoting eye research, raising awareness of sight loss and signposting donations to appropriate eye research funders.
Support for inventors and innovators
As a champion of innovation and user of assistive technology himself, Julian is passionate about securing the most appropriate development funding for innovators at the beginning of their journey and ensuring the right technology and equipment is ultimately placed in the right hands at the right time along the patient pathway with long term support if required.
Julian can offer strategic development, peer to peer networking, sales and marketing and corporate relations. provide high level access to a range of influencers and key opinion leaders, voluntary sector and social networks, primary and secondary care practitioners, membership and regulatory organisations, academics and clinician scientists with a focus on low vision, optometry colleges, sight loss trade news channels and educational programmes in support of key optical trade events.
“In recognition of National Eye Health week 2019and to celebrate the innovation in eye research, the annual Report 2019 entitled “Eye Research – an equal partner”, compiled and edited by Julian Jackson, featuring contributions from leading researchers in the UK and abroad can be viewed HERE