MED-EL, leading expert for hearing solutions and business partner of the Austrian Development Agency ADA, receives Austria’s most prestigious award for corporate social responsibility. MED-EL’s healthcare project in Bangladesh and Ivory Coast, supported by the Austrian Development Agency, convinced the jury in the “International Engagement” category.
September 17, 2020 – (Vienna/Innsbruck) On September 16, the twelve-member jury of TRIGOS Award 2020 announced the winners of the award that stands exemplary for corporate social responsibility in Austria. MED-EL, a privately owned Tyrolean company, and a leading manufacturer of implantable hearing solutions, impressed the jury of the “International Engagement” category with their innovative programme to improve diagnosis and rehabilitation of hearing loss in Bangladesh and Côte d'Ivoire. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) funded the award-winning initiative with an amount of 500,000 Euros.
Award for courageous flagship project
The TRIGOS jury explained why they chose MED-EL: “The initiative by MED-EL is based on a well-established project and an excellent concept which will distinctly improve the diagnosis and rehabilitation of hearing loss in the national health systems of Bangladesh and Côte d'Ivoire. It will considerably enhance the quality of life and social inclusion of people with hearing impairments. This courageous social impact project serves as a best practice example, sending a powerful signal to other companies.”
A “Hearing Journey” in developing countries
For people with hearing loss, their “hearing journey”, their way from diagnosis to rehabilitation, is often difficult. State-of-the-art know-how and professional expertise throughout the whole “hearing journey” are decisive for the users’ long-term success with hearing implants, their social integration – and ultimately for their quality of life. Particularly in developing and emerging countries this procedure constitutes a big challenge. Several barriers need to be removed first to sustainably develop a hearing implant program in these countries. In a partnership with ADA MED-EL has tackled these challenges in Bangladesh and Côte d'Ivoire.
Trainings, workshops, information events paired with technical equipment for statistical research and hearing screening programs for newborns and school children are measures MED-EL has taken in these two countries to raise awareness for hearing loss and its causes, to install diagnostic and rehabilitation facilities and educate about hearing loss and treatment options. The project is targeted primarily at midwifes and nurses, parents, teachers, government authorities, medical doctors, university staff and local self-help groups. In total, the initiative reaches out to more than 2,600 people. To implement the project MED-EL closely cooperates with the Austrian development organisation ICEP and ADA.
Teaming up for added social value
"With MED-EL we found an Austrian company that promotes better healthcare in Bangladesh and Côte d'Ivoire through innovation and commitment. We are happy that our business partnership, which began in 2018, will be expanded to a strategic partnership. This will allow us to establish a basis for new structures and sustainable improvements in our partner countries”, states Martin Ledolter, CEO of ADA. With a funding of 500,000 Euros for MED-EL’s activities in the two countries, the Austrian Development Agency has laid the foundation for a long-term collaboration.
Strategic partnerships aim at bringing about systemic improvements in developing countries and emerging nations and make a measurable contribution to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They exceed the direct confines of an individual enterprise and support socio-economic development in several countries at the same time through close cooperation among ADA, European business partners and local actors. Together with the partners, ADA draws up a strategy, while contributing its expertise and mobilising resources, networks and contacts.
"As a global innovation leader in hearing solutions we want to enhance the social impact throughout our value chain. The TRIGOS award, one of Austria’s most prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility awards, and our partnership with ADA are valuable confirmations of our activities. These projects allow us to take over responsibility in fragile markets and contribute to a better quality of life for the local population. Sharing our know-how beyond our core business will help us achieve our goals and fulfil our mission: to overcome hearing loss as a barrier for communication and quality of life”, says Dr Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO of MED-EL.
In 2020, the TRIGOS award was presented in six categories for the 17th time, with a total of 166 companies applying for this prestigious award.
About Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
Austrian Development Agency GmbH (ADA), the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation, supports the sustainable development in the countries of Africa, Asia, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe. Together with public institutions, non-governmental organisations and businesses ADA currently funds projects and programmes with a total volume of 500 million Euros. www.entwicklung.at
MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has grown to more than 2,200 employees from around 75 nations and 30 locations worldwide.
The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 124 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. www.medel.com
Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair
MED-EL Medical Electronics
T: +43 5 7788-0