MED-EL USA, Innsbruck, Austria, provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, announced a search for future inventions through a global children’s competition, Ideas 4 Ears.
The competition, which kicks off a celebration of May’s Better Hearing and Speech month, invites children ages 6-11 years old from the United States to create a piece of artwork showcasing their invention to improve the quality of life of people living with hearing loss, according to MED-EL. The competition celebrates children’s creativity and aims to improve understanding of the challenges associated with hearing loss and deafness as well as the benefits of treatment.
“From day one, innovation has been, and remains a key focus in our drive to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication,” said Geoffrey Ball, chief technical officer at MED-EL and inventor of the SOUNDBRIDGE middle ear implant. “Born from inventors ourselves, the MED-EL story is proof of the power of a good idea and the impact that inventions can have on the lives of people living with hearing loss. The MED-EL Ideas 4 Ears competition will hopefully inspire young people and educate them about hearing loss in our community.”
One US winner will be awarded a $1,000 deposit into a college savings plan of their choice and entry into an international competition for a grand prize of a trip for the winner and an adult chaperone to MED-EL’s global headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria. While there, they will tour the research and development factory and have the opportunity to meet with MED-EL’s many inventors, including the company’s co-founders Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair. The global winner will be announced on Inventors’ Day, November 9, 2017, at a ceremony at MED-EL’s Austrian headquarters.
The panel of MED-EL judges for Ideas 4 Ears are looking for creative, one-of-a-kind inventions which could have the potential to help improve the lives of people with hearing loss at any age. Children can express their ideas through a painting, collage, or video.
“Hearing loss can have profound effects not only on communication, but also health, independence, well-being, and daily function,” said Raymond Gamble, president and CEO, MED-EL North America. “Recognizing the importance of treatment and the high unmet need around the world, we hope this competition will encourage hearing loss to be regarded not as an individual problem, but one which must be addressed at multiple levels within the community. We’re excited to see what the children create and wish them the best of luck!”
Children and their parents are encouraged to share their inventions and progress on social media using the hashtag #ideas4ears.
Parents and children interested in learning more about the competition and how to enter should visit the Ideas 4 Ears website here or check out the competition worksheet here for a summary of what the contest is about. An entry form can be downloaded here. Entries must be received by Sunday, September 3, 2017.