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Hearing connects! International research network presents itself in a new light

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New possibilities for industry, specialists and consumers to participate.

Oldenburg/Hannover, 8th June 2012. Hearing connects people. Our culture is built on hearing. Yet even so, there are roughly 15 million people with a hearing impairment living in Germany alone. The consequences are severe, not just for the individual but also for society at large. Auditory Valley, the only research and development network of its kind, is involved in developing new solutions for improving hearing.

Unveiled today, the new Auditory Valley network website provides an opportunity participate with network partnerships in the development of hearing research using various online and offline media. "Interested lay men and women together with specialists can gain access to the latest findings through several forums," explains Prof. Dr. Dr. Birger Kollmeier, Scientific Director at HörTech gGmbH, talking about the new strategy.

Coordinated in tandem by Oldenburg and Hanover universities, the network currently connects eleven research facilities with over 250 scientists from basic and application research in hearing technology. Working with leading partners in industry, they are merging hearing aid expertise from the field of medicine with audio technology from the consumer field in a project that is unique in the world.

The three forums, the "Business Forum", "Healthcare Forum" and "Forum for Partners & Friends" benefit from knowledge transfer from the research network. "We use these new communication platforms to promote our multifaceted services and expertise, and aim to acquire further strong partners for our network," adds Prof. Prof. h.c. Dr. Thomas Lenarz, Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at Hannover Medical School.

"Our teams in Oldenburg and Hanover know that having a common strategic mission is a key factor in order to succeed as a region of expertise," states Stephan Albani, Managing Director of HörTech gGmbH/Oldenburg Hearing Centre.

"Hearing for all! – Hearing4all"
Research and development at Auditory Valley is driven by the vision, "Hearing for all! All people, all situations, all sectors." To meet these challenges head on, partners at the Auditory Valley are working on merging hearing aid expertise from the field of medicine with audio technology from the consumer field in a project that is unique in the world. An application has been filed within the framework of the Excellence Initiative, and a decision will be made on 15th June. The Excellence Initiative is a joint research initiative by the German Council of Science and Humanities and the German Research Foundation to promote leading research, while broadly increasing the quality of universities and science in Germany in the long term, to improve Germany's international competitive position and make leading minds in universities and science visible. All applications were being reviewed by the end of February 2012, based on which the decisions for grants with totalling 2.5 billion euros will be made in June 2012.