May 08, 2014

Southampton, United Kingdom, 8th May 2014 — Global contact lens manufacturer CooperVision has announced that the 2014 CooperVision FORCE European Student of the Year is Umberto Bassi from the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy.

CooperVision FORCE

FORCE (Future Ocular Research Creativity Event) is an annual competition in the contact lens field pitching the very best students in European universities and colleges against one another. With an objective of raising the profile of contact lenses with the leading practitioners of tomorrow, students are invited to undertake a six to eight-week research project on a contact lens-related topic of their choice and to present their findings.

Winners from each country go forward to the FORCE final for a chance to become CooperVision FORCE European Student of Year. The prize is a full delegate package, including travel and accommodation, to the American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting, which will take place in Denver, Colorado in November 2014.

This year’s FORCE European final took place in Barcelona, Spain on 12th April and was attended by students and educators from nine European countries: Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

This year, approximately 200 students across Europe carried out research projects and 70 students reached the national finals. Nine teams of national winners presented their research projects at the final in Barcelona. The teams and topics were:

  • Tereza Ševčíková, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
    • Dry eye syndrome and the impact of lifestyle
  • Célia Noir and Anouck Barbarin, L'Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France
    • Influence of soft contact lenses on the lid wiper
  • Julia Hebenstreit and Andrea Reinke, Beuth Hochschule für Technik, Berlin, Germany
    • Review of supplier recommendation for multifocal soft contact lenses
  • Henrietta Szabó, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
    • Computer vision syndrome and contact lens wearing
  • Umberto Bassi, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
    • Comparison between different contact lens materials in relationship with meibomian gland function observed through infra-red light
  • Daria Rajchel, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland
    • Influence of hyaluronan on dehydration and states of water in soft contact lens materials
  • Eduardo García and Soraya de las Heras, University of Valladolid, Spain
    • Analysis of quality of vision in young myopic subjects wearing multifocal contact lenses as treatment for myopia control
  • Julia Ahlin, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden
    • Influence of experience and knowledge when grading contact lens complications
  • Claire Gorman, Plymouth University, UK
    • Stability of the pre-lens tear film under environmental challenge

Judging the projects were researchers and clinicians Professor Rossella Fonte (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy), Dr Fernando Hidalgo (Director of Centro Boston de Optometría, Madrid, Spain), Ingebret Mojord (Mojord & Thoresen Optometri, Fredrikstad, Norway), Dr Eef van der Worp (Associate Researcher at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands), along with chairman Nick Rumney, (BBR Optometry Ltd, Hereford UK and Conference Programme Co-ordinator for the British Contact Lens Association).

Entries were invited for clinical trials, clinical review papers, case reports, and were judged for the evidence for and importance of the project, and the quality and clarity of presentation.

This year’s overall winner, Umberto Bassi, devised an infra-red light tool to assess meibomian gland dropout in soft contact lens wearers and found that differences in clinical performance between lens materials became significant in patients who showed glandular dropout.

Receiving the award at a dinner on the Barcelona beachfront, Umberto thanked everyone involved in the organisation of FORCE for the chance to take part. ‘This is an amazing opportunity for every single student. We’re fortunate that we have in the industry a company like CooperVision that believes in us,’ he said.

He added: ‘This is a wonderful personal success that makes me confident for the future.’

On behalf of the judges, Nick Rumney described the winning presentation as ‘crisp, clear, concise and mature’. He also congratulated CooperVision and Harald Angström, Professional Service Marketing Director EMEA, for the ‘creative and innovative idea’ behind FORCE and for their investment in students’ careers.

‘2014 has exceeded 2013’s already very high standards. Every one of the finalists came up with original research. If this is what we have to look forward to, the future of our profession is in very, very safe hands,’ said Mr Rumney.


MEDIA CONTACT: Fiona Healey, Five by Five
02380 827372

About CooperVision FORCE
Entries for the national CooperVision FORCE (Future Ocular Research Creativity Event) can be submitted from spring of each year. Students then have time to plan and submit their piece of work to their universities and colleges. Successful regional candidates go forward to the FORCE final. For more information, visit

About CooperVision
CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses. The Company produces a full array of monthly and daily disposable contact lenses, all featuring advanced materials and optics. CooperVision has a strong heritage of solving the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism and presbyopia; and offers the most complete collection of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit

About The Cooper Companies
The Cooper Companies, Inc. ("Cooper") is a global medical device company publicly traded on the NYSE Euronext (NYSE:COO). Cooper is dedicated to being A Quality of Life Company™ with a focus on delivering shareholder value. Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. CooperVision brings a refreshing perspective on vision care with a commitment to developing a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical focuses on supplying women's health clinicians with market leading products and treatment options to improve the delivery of healthcare to women. Headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, Cooper has approximately 8,000 employees with products sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit

Contact lenses are medical devices and can only be prescribed and dispensed by a licensed eye care professional.