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Hermann Hauser

Hermann Hauser
Born Hermann Maria Hauser
(1948-10-23) 23 October 1948 [1][2]
Nationality Austrian
Alma mater
Thesis Mechanically Activated Chemical Reactions (1977)
Known for
Influenced Steve Furber[4]
Notable awards
Hermann Maria Hauser KBE

,[9] FRS,[6][7] FREng,[8] FInstP, CPhys (born 1948),[1] is an entrepreneur who was born in Vienna, Austria but is primarily associated with Silicon Fen in England.[10][11][12][13][14]


  • Education and early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Awards and honours 3
  • References 4

Education and early life

When he was 15 he came to the United Kingdom to learn English at a language school in Cambridge. After a Master of Arts degree in Physics from Vienna University,[1] he returned to the University of Cambridge to do a PhD in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory.[1][3]


Hauser is probably most well known for his part in setting up Acorn Computers with Chris Curry in 1978. When Olivetti took control of Acorn Computers in 1985[15] he became vice-president for research at Olivetti where he was in charge of laboratories in the US and Europe. In 1986, Hauser co-founded the Olivetti Research Laboratory (ORL) in Cambridge along 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.[16][17]

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 Personal Communicator 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 to begin work on marketing the NetStation. NetChannel was sold to AOL in 1996.[18] He claimed in the 1990s that the networking technology used for AppleTalk was based on the (unpatented) Cambridge Ring.[19][20]

In 1997 he co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd, a venture capital company, and in 1998 he co-founded Cambridge Network with David Cleevely and Alec Broers.[21]

In 2000, Plastic Logic was founded, with Hauser as chairman.[22]

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

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.

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[23] 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,[24][25] which contributed to the government's fund for Technology and Innovation Centres.[26]

Awards and honours

Hauser was voted the UK's 'Computer Personality of the Year' of 1984. In 2010, Eureka, in its "100 most important scientists", placed Hauser at 51.[27] He became patron of The Centre for Computing History in December 2011, 30 years after the launch of the BBC Micro.[28]

On 8 July 2002, Hauser was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) and as an International Fellow[8] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[8] (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. The award was presented at the annual European Electronics Industry Awards in London. Hauser was awarded an Honorary CBE for "innovative service to the UK enterprise sector" in 2001. 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.[29]

Hauser was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2012.[7] His nomination reads:


  1. ^ a b c d e f HAUSER, Dr Hermann Maria.   (subscription required)
  2. ^ Ibrahim, Youssef M. (4 January 1998). "In Old England, A Silicon Fen".  
  3. ^ a b Hauser, Hermann Maria (1977). Mechanically Activated Chemical Reactions (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ Fitzpatrick, J. (2011). "An interview with  
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c "EC/2012/12: Hauser, Hermann Maria". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Dr Hermann Maria Hauser CBE FREng FRS".  
  8. ^ a b c d "List of Fellows". 
  9. ^ "Founder of Acorn Computers honoured with CBE". Icon Bar. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  10. ^ Jacobs, Emma (23 December 2010). "20 questions: Hermann Hauser".  
  11. ^ Public oration, Loughborough University, 1998
  12. ^ Hermann Hauser's Second Chance by Christopher Anderson, 1996
  13. ^ Dr Hermann Hauser CBE FREng, Ingenia, Issue 33, Dec 2007
  14. ^ Hermann Hauser interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 3 September 2008 (film)
  15. ^ "Olivetti buy 49% of Acorn Computers". Computing History. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  16. ^ Micro Men (TV 2009) at the Internet Movie Database
  17. ^ "BBC Four Programmes Micro Men". BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  18. ^ Lillington, Karlin (8 November 2012). "From little Acorn grew an angel investor with an eye for the next big thing".  
  19. ^ Grossman, Wendy (May 1993). "Missing The Big Time". Personal Computer World Magazine. 
  20. ^ Anderson, Christopher (May 1996). "Herman Hauser's Second Chance".  
  21. ^ "A Gentle Persuasion to Collaborate – Organizing and Building the Cambridge Network". Safari Books Online. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  22. ^ Clarke, Peter (27 November 2000). "Cambridge spin-off to study plastic semiconductors". EE Times ( 
  23. ^ "XMOS Dr Hermann Hauser". XMOS. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  24. ^ "Hermann Hauser's recommendations to government on innovation".  
  25. ^ "The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK". 25 March 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  26. ^ "WIRED's top 100: the top 20".  
  27. ^ Durrani, Matin (7 October 2010). "100 top UK scientists revealed".  
  28. ^ 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 [...] 
  29. ^ "Archives Mountbatten Medallists". IET. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 

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