The aim of the research area is to literally reach Hearing for All, which is pursued by the establishment and further development of the Cluster of Excellence “Hearing4All” and the collaborative research centre (SFB) 1330 “Hearing Acoustics”, both embedded into the trans-institutional “Excellence Centre for Hearing Research” (Oldenburg/Hanover).
The cluster of excellence “Hearing4all 2.0”, which in 2018 was granted a second funding period of 7 years, seeks to overcome the serious problem of hearing loss in our ageing communication society by developing research-based solutions for all kinds of hearing loss in all hearing situations in all areas of everyday life.
The collaborative research centre (SFB) 1330 “Hearing Acoustics: Perceptive Principles, Algorithms and Applications" (HAPPAA for short), which was established in 2018, aims at investigating the principles of speech-based communication in detail and to foster the communicative abilities in the population by the improvement of hearing devices.
An additional pillar of this research area is the manifold extra-university research landscape in Oldenburg. The collaboration with the non-university research institutions interweaves the university research with its application.
The non-profit company Hörzentrum Oldenburg gGmbH operates the translational research centre of the Cluster Hearing4All. It also conducts its own pre-competitive and application-oriented research and development (R&D) projects, mostly in collaboration with partners from the international hearing aid industry. The Fraunhofer IDMT division Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology (HSA) is another partner of the University for the design of acoustic, voice-operated and physiological human-computer-interfaces and other technologies which are developed for the consumer market and the industry. Through support from the federal state of Lower Saxony, HSA is now being developed into an independent Fraunhofer Institute for Hearing, Speech and Neurotechnology.
The expertise of these external companies and research facilities is also significant for the European Medical School (EMS), which can point to an established collaboration within its research focus “Neurosensory science and hearing research” and which relies on a multidisciplinary co-evolution in its developing research area “mobile Health and participative medicine”.
All these and many more institutions are embedded into the research network “Auditory Valley”. It unites the comprehensive hearing research competencies across the locations Oldenburg and Hanover into an overarching structure which is unique worldwide.