The European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) was officially launched on Saturday May 16 at the Olympic museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dr Feike Grit was appointed as inaugural president of the Academy and will serve a two-year term before being succeeded by the inaugural vice-president Professor Roger Crelier. Bryony Pawinska chief executive of the College of Optometrists was appointed company secretary. Dr Rob Hogan, president of the College was appointed to the Academy's board during its start-up phase.

Board members represent European educational institutions, European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) member organisations, individual educationalists and practitioners.

Commenting on the need for the European Academy, Dr Grit said: 'To meet the requirements of a modern profession, ECOO needed a far greater input from the profession across Europe. A different framework was essential to enable us to optimise the cooperation between different stakeholders, leaders of optometry, practitioners, educators and scientists. The Academy will provide this new framework.'

The EAOO has been established by ECOO to build on the work of the former Association of European Universities and Schools of Optometry. It aims to develop scientific knowledge of optometry and optics advance and promote education and research into optometry, optics and related subjects promote for the public benefit the science and practice of optometry and optics and the professional competence and conduct of Academy members.

EAOO's launch and its first event, the Research and Academic Symposium, was incorporated into the ECOO spring meeting, bringing key stakeholders from across Europe together.

ECOO president Dr Wolfgang Cagnolati described the foundation of the Academy as a milestone for the future of eye care in Europe, that opened new frontiers for European optometrists and opticians.