German President Joachim Gauck has awarded Prof. Dr. Dr. Birger Kollmeier, Prof. Dr. Volker Hohmann and Dr. Torsten Niederdränk the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2012.

(f.l.t.r.) Dr.-Ing. Torsten Niederdränk, Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Dr. med. Birger Kollmeier, German President Joachim Gauck, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Volker Hohmann

In the presence of numerous illustrious guests from academia and industry, the team from the Institute of Physics and the Center of Excellence for Hearing Research, the University of Oldenburg and Siemens AG, Munich, has received the German President's Award for Technology and Innovation for their project "Binaural Hearing Aids - Stereo Hearing for Everyone".

The honoured scientists succeeded in laying the technical foundation for innovative hearing systems in which two hearing devices, one worn on the left and one on the right ear, are coupled and work together to compensate for the individual hearing loss. The system also uses an original diagnostic method and mathematical algorithms. This allows hearing impaired individuals in future to hear better, specifically in rooms with an echo, when several people are talking at once, and despite loud background noise.

Hearing poorly or not at all is a problem that is often underestimated in an aging society. The technology that is awarded the prize today will significantly improve the quality of life of the hearing impaired and make it possible for them to participate normally again in social life.

The use of binaural hearing systems is not limited to people with a limited sense of hearing. Users of consumer electronics or smart phones also soon to stand to profit from the special support of binaural hearing impressions.

The German Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation is endowed with € 250,000 in prize money and honours both the development of the process, but also its successful market implementation.

With this innovation the team has succeeded against three other outstanding projects nominated by the jury for the final round, the "Circle of the Best". President Joachim Gauck presented these teams with a certificate in honour of their work.