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Dr Ingeborg Hochmair

Sep 1, 2023


Founder & CEO

Ingeborg Hochmair is the CEO of MED-EL, an industry leader in implantable hearing solutions. She co-founded the company with her husband, Erwin Hochmair, and they hired their first employees in 1990. Today, the company is still privately run, with its global headquarters located in Innsbruck, Austria.

While studying at the Technical University of Vienna, Ingeborg became the first woman at the institution to receive a doctorate in electrical engineering. She later worked at the Institute for General Electrical Engineering and Electronics in Vienna, Stanford University in California and Innsbruck University in Austria.

The Hochmairs’ ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant, which was successfully implanted in 1977. Four decades on, Ingeborg, Erwin and their colleagues at MED-EL continue to celebrate this milestone achievement – the development of the modern cochlear implant – and the life-changing impact it has had on the many thousands of recipients worldwide.

Award winning researcher and scientist 

Ingeborg has published over 100 specialist papers and is recorded as the inventor or co-inventor of over 50 patents and patent applications. She has been awarded a number of prizes for her scientific achievements, including the Holzer Award (1979), the Leonardo da Vinci Award (1980) and the Sandoz Award (1984). In 1995, she won the Business Woman of the Year Award (Prix Veuve Clicquot) and, the following year, was awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal.

In 2013, Ingeborg Hochmair was awarded the prestigious Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for her role in the development of the modern cochlear implant. For these achievements she was also honoured with the Fritz J. und Dolores H. Russ Prize in 2015 and the Technology Prize of the Eduard Rhein Foundation in 2016, both of which she received together with her husband.

In 2023, Ingeborg and her husband were each awarded the prestigious IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for the research and development of cochlear implants, honoring their exceptional contribution to communications and networking sciences and engineering.

Ingeborg Hochmair has also been awarded honorary doctorates from:

- Munich University of Technology, Faculty of Medicine (2004)
- University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Medicine (2010)
- University of Bern, Faculty of Medicine (2018)
- Uppsala University, Faculty of Medicine (2020)
- University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Natural Sciences (2021)
- University of Liège, Faculty of Medicine (2022)

Ingeborg and her husband have four children and live near Innsbruck.



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UST.-ID-NUMMER: ATU 31722507


Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair

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