In the future, the audiologists want to bundle their work into four research strands that will, on the one hand, map the development chain from basic research to hearing technology and, on the other hand, map the severity of hearing impairment: The first strand will use state-of-the-art methods of neuroscience to better understand the complex interplay between hearing, perception, and processing in the brain over a person's lifetime. The second strand will involve IT-based research aimed at building a virtual multilingual hearing clinic. In the third strand, the researchers will develop individually targeted diagnostic and treatment procedures for patients with moderate to severe hearing loss and for patients who are completely deaf. Based on these scientific and technical findings, the fourth strand will create fundamentally new system technologies for the hearing aids of the future.
The currently planned project involves 25 leading neuroscientists, physicians, psychologists, linguists, physicists, and engineers from the Universities of Oldenburg and Hannover and from the Hannover Medical School. Project partners, besides Fraunhofer ITEM, include Jade University, HörTech gGmbH, and the hearing centers in Oldenburg and Hannover. Hearing4all is one of the world's leading centers in medical technology, hearing research, audiology, medical diagnostics, and therapy. Every cochlear implant in use around the world is somehow based on research conducted in Hannover.
The current cluster of excellence was among the winners of the Excellence Initiative in 2012 and has since received almost 30 million euros of funding. In addition, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and the Volkswagen Foundation have funded this cluster with 1 million euros.