Ideas for Ears: Children worldwide win a trip to meet MED-EL’s leading hearing technology inventors in Austria
Winners created one-of-a-kind inventions as part of a global children’s competition to raise awareness for hearing loss
November 26, 2017 — (Innsbruck, Austria) — MED-EL, a leading provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, today announced the winners of its global children inventor’s competition, Ideas for Ears. Children from six countries across the world will visit MED-EL’s headquarters next spring in Innsbruck, Austria.
The competition, which launched on Kid Inventors’ Day in January 2017, challenged children from across the world to create a piece of artwork showcasing their invention to improve the quality of life of people living with hearing loss. Whilst celebrating children’s creativity, Ideas for Ears aimed to improve children’s understanding of the challenges associated with hearing loss and deafness as well as the benefits of treatment.
“As a company born from inventors, MED-EL’s story is proof of the power of a good idea and the impact that inventions can have on the lives of people living with a condition like hearing loss and deafness,” said Geoffrey Ball, inventor of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE. “The one-of-a-kind inventions proposed by the children are impressive and we look forward to meeting the winners in Innsbruck in 2018.”
Competition entries came in the form of drawings, videos and beautifully designed presentations, all aiming to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. Inventions included cinema glasses with subtitles, a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to locate lost audio processors and glasses that turn conversations into readable text.
During the trip to MED-EL’s headquarters, the winners will have the opportunity to discover how MED-EL’s life-changing devices are produced and the cutting-edge research being undertaken by the company. They will explore the science of hearing loss through a tour of the company’s science centre and meet with MED-EL’s many inventors to learn about the stages of bringing an idea to fruition.
“It is wonderful to see the wide range of entries and enthusiasm shown by the children who entered the Ideas for Ears competition,” said Patrick D`Haese, Corporate Director of Awareness and Public Affairs.
“In addition to nurturing the bright minds of young inventors, through the Ideas for Ears competition we aim to educate and raise awareness about hearing loss and hearing loss solutions. Well done to all the participants! We are looking forward to welcoming the winners to MED-EL headquarters next year.”
During the winner’s trip, the children along with their guardian will be capturing and sharing their journey on social media using the hashtag #ideas4ears.
About hearing loss
Over 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people – are living with disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children).1 Approximately one-third of people over the age of 65 are affected by disabling hearing loss.1 The World Health Organization recommends a range of interventions to improve communication once hearing loss has occurred, including hearing implants.1
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 1,800 employees and 30 subsidiaries worldwide.
The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all degrees of hearing loss, enabling people in 117 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 7788-1029
1World Health Organization. Deafness and hearing loss factsheet. Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en/. Last accessed November 2017.