Hermann Hauser

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This article is about the technology entrepreneur. For the luthier, see Hermann Hauser (luthier).
Hermann Maria Hauser
Hermann Hauser.jpg
Born Hermann Maria Hauser
1949/1950 (age 64–65)[1]
Nationality Austrian
Ethnicity Austrian
Occupation Inventor, Entrepreneur

Hermann Maria Hauser, CBE[2] FRS[3] FREng FinstP CPhys, is an entrepreneur who was born in Vienna, Austria but is primarily associated with Silicon Fen in England.[4]

When he was 15 he came to the United Kingdom to learn English at a language school in Cambridge. After his first degree in Physics from Vienna University, he returned to Cambridge to do a PhD in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory.

He is probably most well known for his part in setting up Acorn with Chris Curry in 1978 (portrayed in the BBC drama Micro Men),[5] and was voted the UK's 'Computer Personality of the Year' of 1984. When Olivetti took control of Acorn in 1985[6] he became vice-president for research at Olivetti where he was in charge of laboratories in the U.S. and Europe. In 1986, Hauser co-founded the Olivetti Research Laboratory (ORL) in Cambridge along with Professor Andy Hopper. Hopper became the laboratory's Director.


In 1988, Hauser left Olivetti to start the Active Book Company, investing one million pounds of his own money. Not wanting to repeat the mistakes made by Acorn, which had kept its technology to itself, he demonstrated the Active Book to as many large companies as he could. AT&T Corporation acquired Active Book and incorporated it into EO in July 1991. Hauser became Chief Technical Officer and Chairman of EO Europe. EO folded on Friday, 29 July 1994.

In 1990, Hauser was involved in spinning out Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) from Acorn.

In 1993, Hauser set up Advanced Telecommunication Modules Ltd with Andy Hopper. The company was acquired by Conexant Systems on 1 March 2004. He founded NetChannel Ltd in June 1996 as a holding company in order to begin work on marketing the NetStation. NetChannel was sold to AOL in 1996.[7] He claimed in the 1990s that the networking technology used for AppleTalk was based on the (unpatented) Cambridge Ring.[8][9]

In 1997 he co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd, a venture capital company, and in 1998 he co-founded Cambridge Network Ltd with David Cleevely and Alec Broers.[10]

In 1998, Hauser was elected into an Honorary Fellowship of Hughes Hall, Cambridge, and he was also elected into an Honorary Fellowship of King's College with effect from 1 January 2000. In the same year he was awarded the Mountbatten Medal.[11]

In 2000, Plastic Logic was founded, with Hauser as chairman.[12]

Hauser was awarded an Honorary CBE for "innovative service to the UK enterprise sector" in 2001.

On 14 June 2001, the Hauser-Raspe Foundation was registered as a charity by Dr Hermann Hauser and Dr Pamela Raspe to advance education.

On 8 July 2002, Hauser was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In May 2004 he presented the prestigious IEE Pinkerton Lecture.

In August 2004, Amadeus Capital Partners led the Series B venture capital financing of Solexa, Ltd and Hermann Hauser joined its Board of Directors. Solexa developed a next-generation DNA sequencing technology which became the market leader. Solexa was sold to Illumina, Inc (ILMN) of San Diego in January 2007 for over $600M. In 2009, Dr. Hauser was announced as the first customer of the Illumina Personal Genome Sequencing service.

In 2005, Hauser received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. The award was presented at the annual European Electronics Industry Awards in London.

As of 2009, Dr. Hauser is the head of the East Anglia Stem Cell research network.

Dr Hauser is a Non-Executive Director of Cambridge Display Technology Ltd, a Non-Executive Director of XMOS[13] Ltd and a Member of the Board of Red-M (Communications) Ltd. He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Bath and Loughborough and from Anglia Ruskin University. He is a member of the Advisory Board on the Higher Education Innovation Fund, and of the UK's Council for Science and Technology. Hauser was commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to write a report on technology and innovation in the UK,[14][15] which contributed to the government's fund for Technology and Innovation Centres.[16]

In 2010, Eureka, in its "100 most important scientists", placed Hauser at 51.[17] He became patron of The Centre for Computing History in December 2011, 30 years after the launch of the BBC Micro.[18]


  1. ^ Ibrahim, Youssef M. (January 4, 1998). "In Old England, A Silicon Fen". The New York Times (New York). Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Founder of Acorn Computers honoured with CBE". Icon Bar. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Dr Hermann Maria Hauser CBE FREng FRS". Royal Society. 
  4. ^ Jacobs, Emma (December 23, 2010). "20 questions: Hermann Hauser". Financial Times. Retrieved November 24, 2011. "[...] the kingpin of the high-tech cluster, dubbed Silicon Fen [...]" 
  5. ^ "BBC Four Programmes Micro Men". BBC. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Olivetti buy 49% of Acorn Computers". Computing History. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  7. ^ Lillington, Karlin (November 8, 2012). "From little Acorn grew an angel investor with an eye for the next big thing". The Irish Times. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ Grossman, Wendy (May 1993). "Missing The Big Time". Personal Computer World Magazine. 
  9. ^ Anderson, Christopher (May 1996). "Herman Hauser's Second Chance". Wired UK. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "A Gentle Persuasion to Collaborate — Organizing and Building the Cambridge Network". Safari Books Online. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  11. ^ "Archives Mountbatten Medallists". IET. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  12. ^ Clarke, Peter (2000-11-27). "Cambridge spin-off to study plastic semiconductors". EE Times (EE Times). Retrieved 2011-06-08. "[...] Herman Hauser, chairman of Plastic Logic [...]" 
  13. ^ "XMOS Dr Hermann Hauser". XMOS. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  14. ^ "Hermann Hauser's recommendations to government on innovation". Russell Group. April 2, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK". March 25, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ "WIRED's top 100: the top 20". The Daily Telegraph. May 6, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  17. ^ Durrani, Matin (October 7, 2010). "100 top UK scientists revealed". Eureka. The Times. Retrieved November 24, 2011. "In 51st is entrepreneur and founder of Acorn Computers Hermann Hauser [...]" 
  18. ^ Walker, Alice (December 12, 2011). "Hauser patron of new Centre for Computing History". Business Weekly (Cambridge: Q Communications). Retrieved December 13, 2011. "Dr Hermann Hauser has been named as patron of the new Centre for Computing History in Cambridge UK. [...] agreed to take on the important role 30 years after the company he co-founded - Acorn Computers - unveiled the BBC Micro [...]" 

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