When Hans Demant founded Oticon in 1904, it was for a good reason: his wife was hearing impaired, and he was determined to help her and others like her. From personal experience, Hans Demant knew about the effects of hearing impairment – the complex psychological problems which inevitably arise when people have difficulty communicating.
Inspired by Hans' humanistic philosophy, his son William and his wife created William Demants og Hustru Ida Emilies Fond in 1957. The Foundation is later also known as the Oticon Foundation. Today the Oticon Foundation wholly owns the investment company William Demant Invest (WDI).
In addition to William Demant Holding, WDI holds significant positions in the medtech company Össur hf., the real estate company Jeudan A/S, the medtech company Unisense FertiliTech A/S and the future wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 1 (expected completion in 2015). Össur is listed in Iceland and Copenhagen and Jeudan is listed in Copenhagen. Unisense FertiliTech A/S is a privately owned company. The owners of Borkum Riffgrund 1 are WDI, KIRKBI and DONG Energy.
The Oticon Foundation's statutes mandate that income be used to support the needs of hearing-impaired individuals as well as organizations. Income is derived through its operational activities in William Demant Invest.
Having a long history, the Oticon Foundation sponsors social and educational programs, publications, conferences, cultural activities and campaigns - both for researchers, hearing-care professionals and the general public.