The "Hear – Experience – Feel" competition got both young and old thinking about hearing, and asked them to write exciting stories about extraordinary and everyday hearing experiences // The winner will accompany the hearing research team nominated for the German Future Prize to the official award ceremony.
The winner, Julia Schomaker, is only 15, yet her life has been deeply affected by hearing: she was born deaf. When just a child, she was given a so-called cochlear implant, with which she was able to hear and learn how to talk, and with which, in her own words, she became "an ordinary girl living in the countryside, who enjoys sports and reads a lot."
The high-profile judges, Eske Nannen (Emden Art Centre), Markus Müller (Oldenburg State Theatre) and Martin Kind (KIND Hörgeräte), were faced with a difficult choice when selecting the winner, for the entrants had sent many engrossing and personal stories about hearing. "We were pleasantly surprised at the variety of stories. We had the pleasure of reading stories by teenagers with normal hearing, where it became clear that the spoken word carries a far more intense meaning than the written word sent by SMS or in an e-mail, but there were also many stories detailing success with hearing aids, ending the suffering for those affected," concludes judge Martin Kind (KIND Hörgeräte).
The Auditory Valley hopes that the "Hear – Experience – Feel" competition will get the population thinking about what hearing really means. The competition was initiated by the nomination of leading minds in hearing research (Prof. Dr. Dr. Birger Kollmeier, Prof. Dr. Volker Hohmann (University of Oldenburg) and Dr. Torsten Niederdränk (Siemens AG) for the 2012 German Future Prize, the Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation. The specific development honoured by this nomination led to a significant re-think in the entire industry. The team has been developing scientific and technical solutions since the 90s, to make the benefits of binaural hearing usable in hearing aids.
As the winner of the "Hear – Experience – Feel" competition, 15 year-old Julia Schomaker will accompany the nominated team when they go to Berlin on 28th November, for the announcement of the winner of the 2012 German Future Prize.
Federal President Gauck will announce which of the four nominated teams is the winner at the award ceremony. ZDF will broadcast the gala event at 10:15 p.m. on 28 November.