Young inventors take over Innsbruck for global IDEASforEARS 2024 event at MED-EL headquarters

Jun 28, 2024

June 28, 2024 – (Innsbruck, Austria): The IDEASforEARS 2024 children's invention contest concluded with an inspiring two-day event hosted at MED-EL's headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria. Bringing together young inventors from around the world along with their families, the event provided a unique opportunity for creativity, learning and collaboration.

Out of 253 submissions received from across 24 countries, 14 exceptional ideas were selected as winners, bringing together young inventors from different corners of the globe to Innsbruck, the grand prize destination of the IDEASforEARS contest. Over the course of two vibrant days, these young inventors gathered at MED-EL's headquarters for a global exchange of ideas and innovation. 

  • Grand reward: 14 winners of a global children’s inventor contest earned an exclusive trip to MED-EL's headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria
  • Global participation and innovation: Children from 24 countries submitted 253 creative inventions, showcasing innovative ideas for individuals with hearing loss
  • Technology Partner: Collaboration with Microsoft empowers communication among young inventors, fostering inclusivity beyond borders

Meeting fellow inventors & MED-EL

The event provided a platform for the children to meet and exchange ideas with each other, fostering a global network of creativity and collaboration. Through this exchange, they gained invaluable insights into different cultures, perspectives and approaches to innovation and product designs, further enriching their experience. The two-day event also included an award ceremony, a behind-the-scenes look at MED-EL's facilities, engaging workshops, and interactive sessions designed to spark creativity and innovation. A highlight of the event was a special tour of MED-EL's state-of-the-art laboratory, where the young inventors had the unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with the engineers and scientists directly involved in developing the hearing implant solutions that they themselves rely on every day. 

"We were thrilled to welcome the talented winners of the IDEASforEARS contest to our headquarters in Innsbruck," says Jennifer Robinson, Corporate Director of Product Management Hearing Solutions at MED-EL. "It was truly inspiring to see their passion for innovation and commitment to improving hearing technology. Their inventions have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of individuals with hearing loss, and it was an honor to be a part of this event that brought together so much creativity in one place."

Impressions from the trip of a lifetime

“Coming to Innsbruck was an experience of a lifetime,” says Stacy Voigt, mother of Abigail and Zoey, two winners from the United States. “It was more than we could have ever expected from the passionate team members to having the opportunity to meet the founder of MED EL and thank her for her intelligence and bravery in making others’ lives more enjoyable like my daughters. Lastly, the other families are what put this experience at the top. For all of us to only have one thing in common, and after two days feel like we have family in 12 other countries, is truly remarkable. I am so grateful for this experience and feel proud to have MED-EL as my girls’ primary mode of communication.”

The winning children in 2024 were:
•Abigail and Zoey Voigt, 12 and 10 years old, United States 
•André da Silva Freire, 11 years old, Portugal
•Bradley Leyshon, 12 years old, Australia
•Bryan Raffermati, 11 years old, Switzerland
•Davide Zilli, 12 years old, Italy
•Linn Trippel, 10 years old, Germany
•Luca Pietrolonardo, 11 years old, Argentina
•Malika Vallerie Aqila, 9 years old, Indonesia
•Nataly Oriana Guzman Hinostroza, 10 years old, Peru
•Vasiliki Pantou, 9 years old, Greece
•Zofia Ćwil, 10 years old, Poland

Supported by Microsoft

As the official Technology Partner for IDEASforEARS 2024, Microsoft not only provided Surface Go tablets to participating families but also facilitated communication during the event among the young inventors. Leveraging Microsoft tablets and software, which include live translation technology, the children were empowered to communicate effectively despite language barriers and varying degrees of hearing loss. These devices serve as valuable tools for continued integration of accessible technology into their daily lives, inspiring innovation and inclusivity long after the conclusion of the event.

The IDEASforEARS children's invention contest continues to inspire young innovators around the world, empowering them to make a positive impact in the field of hearing technology. The 2025 edition will be launched in November 2024. For more information about the contest and future events, please visit the IDEASforEARS website as well as the IDEASforEARS Facebook page.



The yearly IDEASforEARS children's invention contest challenges children aged 6-12 years to develop a creative idea to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. Since its first edition in 2017, IDEASforEARS has seen over 1,250 entries spanning more than 40 countries, showcasing its global reach and popularity. The grand prize for the winners includes a trip to Innsbruck, Austria, where MED-EL is headquartered. The children have the unique opportunity to connect with fellow creative minds from around the world, fostering a global exchange of ideas and innovation.

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 and quality of life. 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 more than 2,800 employees from around 80 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 137 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

PR & Corporate Communications
MED-EL Medical Electronics
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T: +43 5 7788
E: [email protected]

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T: +43 5 7788-0
E: [email protected]