Hermann Hauser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hermann Hauser

Hermann Maria Hauser

(1948-10-23) 23 October 1948 (age 75)[6][7]
Vienna, Austria
Known for
SpousePamela Raspe[9]
Scientific career
ThesisMechanically Activated Chemical Reactions (1977)

Hermann Maria Hauser, KBE, FRS, FREng, FInstP, CPhys (born 1948[6]) is an Austrian entrepreneur, venture capitalist and inventor who is primarily associated with the Cambridge technology community in England.[10][11][12][13][14]

Education and early life[edit]

When Hauser was 16 he went to the United Kingdom to learn English at a language school in Cambridge.[15] After a master's degree in Physics from Vienna University,[6] he returned to King's College, Cambridge to do a PhD in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory.[6][8]


Hauser is probably best known for his part in setting up Acorn Computers with Chris Curry in 1978. When Olivetti took control of Acorn in 1985[16] he became vice-president for research at Olivetti, in charge of laboratories in the US and Europe. In 1986, Hauser co-founded the Olivetti Research Laboratory (ORL) in Cambridge with Andy Hopper, who became the laboratory's director. Hauser's role in Acorn was portrayed by Edward Baker-Duly in the BBC drama Micro Men.[17][18]

In 1988, Hauser left Olivetti to start the Active Book Company, investing £1 million of his own money.[19] The company sought to develop a portable ARM-based microcomputer "the size of a paperback book", featuring a screen and stylus for interaction and employing a "book" metaphor known as Hyperpage.[20] The company planned to launch its first product after Christmas 1990, featuring an approximately A5-sized reflective display, automatic recognition of printed, as opposed to cursive, characters, and employing a multipurpose chip called Hercules featuring a static, low-power ARM core. A licensing agreement had been signed with Acorn for access to that company's hardware and software technology, and the company was seeking application developers for the platform.[21] The Active Book was intended to cost around $2,000, provide eight to ten hours of battery life, and was to run the Helios operating system.[22] 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 in July 1991[23][better source needed] and incorporated it into their EO Personal Communicator, which was released in April 1993.[24] Hauser became chief technical officer and chairman of EO Europe. Sales did not meet expectations, and AT&T's EO subsidiary folded on 29 July 1994.

In 1990, Hauser was involved in spinning out Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) from Acorn.[25]

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 to begin work on marketing the NetStation. NetChannel was sold to AOL in 1996.[26] He claimed in the 1990s that the networking technology used for AppleTalk was based on the (unpatented) Cambridge Ring.[27][12]

In 1997 he co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd,[28][29] a venture capital company, and in 1998 he co-founded Cambridge Network with David Cleevely and Alec Broers.[30]

In 2000, Plastic Logic was founded, with Hauser as chairman.[31]

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

In August 2004, Amadeus Capital Partners led the Series B venture capital financing of Solexa, and Hauser joined its board of directors. Solexa developed a next-generation DNA sequencing technology which became the market leader; the company was sold to Illumina, Inc of San Diego in January 2007 for over $US600 million. In 2009, Hauser was announced as the first customer of the Illumina Personal Genome Sequencing service.[32]

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

Hauser is a non-executive director of Cambridge Display Technology, a non-executive director of XMOS[33] 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.[34][35] Publication of the report in 2010 led to the establishment of Catapult centres[36] with £200 million of government funding.[37]

He was co-founder of ARM Holdings, the Cambridge based microchip manufacturer that was bought in 2016 by Japan's SoftBank.[38]

Since 2015, he is actively supporting Austrian start-ups and technology companies. In particular, he has invested in 2017 in the MEMS-speaker start-up "USound"[39][40] and in eyeson,[41] a cloud based Unified Communications solution nominated by Gartner Inc. as Cool Vendor in Unified Communications, 2017.[42][43]

Awards and honours[edit]

Hauser was voted the UK's "Computer Personality of the Year" of 1984.[44] In 2010, Eureka, in its "100 most important scientists", placed Hauser at 51.[45] He became patron of The Centre for Computing History in December 2011, 30 years after the launch of the BBC Micro.[46]

In 2001, Hauser became an Honorary Doctor at Anglia Ruskin University.[47] On 8 July 2002, Hauser was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) and an International Fellow[5] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[5] (FREng). In May 2004 he presented the prestigious IEE Pinkerton Lecture. In 2005, Hauser received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur.[48] The award was presented at the annual European Electronics Industry Awards in London.[49] Hauser was awarded an Honorary CBE for "innovative service to the UK enterprise sector" in 2001.[50] 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, Cambridge with effect from 1 January 2000. In the same year he was awarded the Mountbatten Medal.[51]

Hauser was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2012.[4] His nomination reads:

Distinguished as a science-based innovator and serial-entrepreneur whose ventures have been at the forefront of UK innovation. A major contributor to the global technology and growth agendas and an influential member of senior policy making bodies. An inspiration and role-model for generations of entrepreneurs who has been directly involved in many companies, providing enthusiasm, mentoring, and financing leading to technology based wealth creation at scale.[3]

Hauser was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society (DFBCS) in 2013 recognising his contribution to computing science in the UK.[52]


  1. ^ "Founder of Acorn Computers honoured with CBE". Icon Bar. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Honorary British awards to foreign nationals - 2015". Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "EC/2012/12: Hauser, Hermann Maria". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 30 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Dr Hermann Maria Hauser CBE FREng FRS". Royal Society.
  5. ^ a b c "List of Fellows".
  6. ^ a b c d e f "HAUSER, Dr Hermann Maria". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (online edition via Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Ibrahim, Youssef M. (4 January 1998). "In Old England, A Silicon Fen". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  8. ^ a b Hauser, Hermann Maria (1977). Mechanically Activated Chemical Reactions (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
  9. ^ "Arm founder Hermann Hauser: 'Brexit is the biggest loss of sovereignty since 1066'". BusinessNews. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  10. ^ Jacobs, Emma (23 December 2010). "20 questions: Hermann Hauser". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 November 2011. [...] the kingpin of the high-tech cluster, dubbed Silicon Fen [...]
  11. ^ Public oration, Loughborough University, 1998
  12. ^ a b Anderson, Christopher (May 1996). "Herman Hauser's Second Chance". Wired UK. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  13. ^ Dr Hermann Hauser CBE FREng, Ingenia, Issue 33, Dec 2007
  14. ^ "Hermann Hauser". Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  15. ^ Gardner Hendrie (20 June 2014), Oral History of Hermann Hauser (PDF), Computer History Museum, retrieved 1 January 2016
  16. ^ "Olivetti buy 49% of Acorn Computers". Computing History. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  17. ^ Micro Men (TV 2009) at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  18. ^ "BBC Four Programmes Micro Men". BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  19. ^ "Active Book Prototype Circuit Boards - Peripheral - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Computing History. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  20. ^ Atack, Carol (September 1989). "Hauser's Hyperpage". Acorn User. p. 7. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  21. ^ "Xmas Launch for Active Books". Acorn User. August 1990. p. 7. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  22. ^ Krohn, Nico (20 August 1990). "Active Book Plans to Offer Pen-Based Computer for Executives". InfoWorld. p. 5. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  23. ^ "JPMorgan Chase 2017 Annual Report" (PDF). jpmorganchase.com. JPMorgan Chase.
  24. ^ Jerry Kaplan (1994). Startup: a Silicon Valley adventure. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-025731-4.
  25. ^ "Hermann Hauser: about the Cambridge venture ecosystem, 17 September 2020". Trinity in Japan Society. 31 August 2020.
  26. ^ Lillington, Karlin (8 November 2012). "From little Acorn grew an angel investor with an eye for the next big thing". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  27. ^ Grossman, Wendy (May 1993). "Missing The Big Time". Personal Computer World Magazine.
  28. ^ "Dr Hermann Hauser KBE - Networks of evidence and expertise for public policy". www.csap.cam.ac.uk. University of Cambridge.
  29. ^ "M Hermann Hauser Venture Partner/Co-Founder, Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd". www.bloomberg.com.
  30. ^ "A Gentle Persuasion to Collaborate – Organizing and Building the Cambridge Network". Safari Books Online. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  31. ^ Clarke, Peter (27 November 2000). "Cambridge spin-off to study plastic semiconductors". EE Times. EE Times. Retrieved 8 June 2011. [...] Herman Hauser, chairman of Plastic Logic [...]
  32. ^ "Illumina delivers its first individual genome sequence to Dr. Hermann Hauser". News-Medical.net. 31 August 2009.
  33. ^ "XMOS Dr Hermann Hauser". XMOS. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  34. ^ "Hermann Hauser's recommendations to government on innovation". Russell Group. 2 April 2010. Archived from the original on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  35. ^ "The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK". 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  36. ^ Ernst & Young (17 November 2017). "Catapult Network Review" (PDF). GOV.UK. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  37. ^ "WIRED's top 100: the top 20". The Daily Telegraph. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  38. ^ Times, The Sunday. "Rich List 2020: profiles 802-900=, featuring Daniel Craig and Adele". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  39. ^ Hermann Hauser invests in MEMS speaker startup Archived 18 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine, 26 January 2017, EE Times, Retrieved 17 February 2017
  40. ^ Micro Speaker Developer USound Secures 12 Million Euro for Market Entry. 16 January 2017. PR Newswire. Retrieved 16 January 2017
  41. ^ Milliardär Hermann Hauser steigt bei steirischer Visocon ein, 19 May 2017, Der Standard, Retrieved 24 August 2017
  42. ^ Cool Vendors in Unified Communications, 2017, 11 May 2017, Gartner Inc. Retrieved 23 August 2017
  43. ^ eyeson: VisoCon Named a 2017 Cool Vendor by Gartner, 31 July 2017, CommsTrader. Retrieved 25 August 2017
  44. ^ "Hermann Hauser - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk.
  45. ^ Durrani, Matin (7 October 2010). "100 top UK scientists revealed". Eureka. The Times. Retrieved 24 November 2011. In 51st is entrepreneur and founder of Acorn Computers Hermann Hauser [...]
  46. ^ Walker, Alice (12 December 2011). "Hauser patron of new Centre for Computing History". Business Weekly. Cambridge: Q Communications. Retrieved 13 December 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 [...]
  47. ^ "Dr Hermann Hauser - ARU". aru.ac.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  48. ^ "Cambridge Network companies win 'Business Weekly' awards". Cambridge Network.
  49. ^ "Hermann Hauser FRS – Hughes Hall". www.hughes.cam.ac.uk. 28 September 2017.
  50. ^ "Hermann Hauser". UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. 1 June 2017.
  51. ^ "Archives Mountbatten Medallists". IET. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  52. ^ "Dr Hermann Hauser | BCS". www.bcs.org.

External links[edit]