Young inventors worldwide win a trip to Austria to meet MED-EL’s leading hearing technology inventors

Jan 31, 2019

Innsbruck, Austria, 31 January 2019 – MED-EL, a leading provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, today announced the winners of its global children's invention contest, ideas4ears.

The contest challenged children aged between 6-12 years old from across the world to create an invention to improve the quality of life for people living with hearing loss.

Whilst celebrating children’s creativity, ideas4ears aimed to engage parents to participate in an interactive activity with their children to improve the whole family’s understanding of the challenges associated with hearing loss and deafness as well as the benefits of treatment.

341 children participated in the contest from 19 different countries, and of these 341 children, the top 9 worldwide invention ideas were chosen to win a trip to visit MED-EL’s Headquarters. 

As an inventor myself, you are never too young to start inventing! The ideas from the children showed not only their vivid imagination, but a real concern for the practical and daily life aspects people with hearing loss and deafness often face,” said Geoffrey Ball, inventor of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE. “I look forward to meeting the young inventors this June at MED-EL Headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria.”

Congratulations to the winning young inventors:

  • Betty Seabrook, 8 years old from Lymm, United Kingdom
  • Eden Birdsey, 6 years old from Kwazulunatal South Africa
  • Fernando Linares Tavárez, 8 years old from Valladolid, Spain
  • Hleb Aucharou, 7 years old from Minsk, Belarus
  • Jaylin Macerinskas, 8 years old from Colorado USA
  • Leon Dean, 9 years old from Padbury, Western Australia
  • Mahesh Saravanan, 10 years old from Chennai, India
  • Sophie Reichle and Eva-Maria Rehdes, 8 years old from Andechs, Germany (joint entry)
  • Trinidad Medina Riquelme, 6 years old from Temuco, Chile

Competition entries came in the form of video presentations, detailed drawings, colourful paintings and even real-life prototypes, all aiming to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. Invention ideas included a special bed where people sleep overnight to get a laser treatment to restore the hair cells in the cochlea, an all in one submersible implant system and even a voice translating device for travelling that converts other people’s speech into the desired language.

During the trip to MED-EL’s Headquarters, the winners will have the opportunity to meet other young inventors from around the globe and get to know the engineers and scientists behind MED-EL’s many life-changing inventions.

During and leading up to the winners´ trip, the children along with their guardian will be capturing and sharing their journey on social media using the hashtag #ideas4ears and being featured on the ideas4ears Facebook page.

If you are worried about your hearing loss or the hearing loss of a family member contact to receive a free information package on hearing and the solutions available.

About hearing loss

Over 5% of the world’s population – 466 million people – are living with disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). 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

About MED-EL

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 2,000 employees and 33 locations worldwide.

The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 123 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.


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

Press contact

Lisa Azwanger-Geser
MED-EL Medical Electronics
Fürstenweg 77a
A - 6020 Innsbruck
T: +43 (0) 577 881-029

[1]World Health Organization. Deafness and hearing loss factsheet. Available at Last accessed January 2019.