The bionic ear was invented in the 1970s by Graeme Clark, a professor of Australia's Melbourne University. In 1978, Professor Graeme successfully implanted the first bionic ear in Rob Saunders. It was the first instance in which a deaf person was able to hear running speech.
In 2004, Professor Graeme Clark received the Prime Ministers Prize for Science for his efforts in developing a safe and successful electroneural interface with the central nervous system. Clark was also honored in the United States and Austria with the Clinical Medical Research Award for developing the groundbreaking technology. The first commercial bionic ear, the cochlear device, was implanted in Graham Carrick in 1982, which allowed him to hear again for the first time in 17 years.