The development of functionally enhanced novel hydrogels for contact lens applications necessitates evaluation with a view towards optimising processability and materials selection for high volume manufacture. Six hydrophilic monomer resins (F1-F6) were successfully formulated and photo-polymerised, using in-house capabilities, to produce hydrogel contact lenses. A suite of characterisation methods were developed to determine the effects of resin composition on material curing performance and functional lens characteristics. By monitoring degrees of conversion and polymerisation kinetics for each formulation, enhanced curing performance was demonstrated with photoinitiator concentrations from 0.02mmol to 0.04mmol producing a 4.3% increase in the degree of conversion reached. The addition of a crosslinking agent was found to considerably increase the rate reaction in the early stages while enhancing crosslink density. Mechanical lens properties were shown to improve, while equilibrium water content (EWC) decreased, for lenses of enhanced crosslink density. The reported findings are expected to contribute significantly to current scientific knowledge and industrial practices in the field.