MED-EL USA announced that it is once again celebrating World Inventors’ Day with the launch of the 2021-22 Ideas4Ears Competition. Entries are due by midnight ET on Monday, January 17, 2022, which is also international Kid Inventors’ Day.
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The contest invites children ages 6-12 years old from countries around the world, including the United States, to create an invention to improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss. Entries can be sent via a video, drawing, or sculpture. The most important factor is for young people to “think big and channel their ideas to support people who live with hearing loss,” the company says.
The inspiration behind Ideas4Ears is Geoffrey Ball, Chief Technical Officer at MED-EL and head judge of the competition. Ball became deaf as a toddler and went on to invent a middle ear implant to treat his own hearing loss. As an accomplished inventor, with more than 100 patent filings to his name and multiple medical device products developed, Ball has used his life experience as a source of encouragement to the young Ideas4Ears inventors, many of whom are users of hearing implants themselves.
“To all the children out there who have hearing loss and want to find a better solution for themselves, I say never give up inventing, believe in yourself, keep trying, and go for your dreams,” said Ball.
Individual country finalists and grand-prize winners of this year’s Ideas4Ears contest will be in the running to receive a new computer or electronic tablet, as well as other fun and educational materials.
The ideas4ears contest 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. Parents of children interested in participating should visit: www.ideas4ears.org/enter to submit their child’s entry. Terms and conditions can be found at: www.ideas4ears.org/terms.
The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose 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 growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has grown to more than 2,200 employees from around 75 nations and has 30 locations worldwide. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation hearing implant system, as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices.