To us, acting responsibly means doing more than just the minimum and in many instances doing more than what is required by law. Working with responsibility is a priority for Demant and we will continue to develop our initiatives in the future.
We take pride in empowering and supporting individuals and communities not only directly through our products, but also through our projects and initiatives with the aim of improving people's life. With and increased attention to CSR, various teams across the Group have taken action to better contribute to our people and society. In addition, William Demant Foundation, the majority owner of Demant A/S, sponsors social and educational programmes, publications, conferences, cultural activities and campaigns for researchers, hearing care professionals and the general public.
In 2018, William Demant Foundation in total donated DKK 111.5 million to projects in such areas as research, education, culture and care. DKK 62.2 million was donated to projects aiming at alleviating hearing loss all over the world and to education and research projects within hearing healthcare and the rest of the DKK 111.5 million to a variety of projects, e.g. culture activities, exhibitions and humanitarian healthcare projects, described, but not limited to the ones illustrated in our CSR report.
One example of non-hearing related philanthropic activities is William Demant Foundation's continuous support of the Maternity Foundation in Ethiopia aimed at enhancing maternal and newborn health. The project contributes to improving quality, availability, acceptability and accessibility of MNC services at both facility and community levels in West Wollenga zones.
More examples include our monetary contribution to the Mary Foundation to support its noble work focused at eliminating bullying, domestic violence and loneliness and improving people’s well-being.
Inclusion and equal opportunities for all are principles Demant strongly believes in and has supported Dansk Idrætsforbund, the Danish Deaf Sports Federation, with DKK 4 million, which will be distributed over the next four years to ensure that hearing-impaired athletes have the best possible conditions for preparation, qualification and participation at European Championships, World Championships and the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Being responsible also means spreading awareness of hearing health. Audika in France, a member of the Demant Group, has joined the National Campaign for Better Hearing, a part of an international program helping to raise awareness about the importance of early hearing screening. In addition, it has also partnered up with the largest music festival in France – Les Vieilles Charrues, attended by nearly 300,000 predominantly young visitors to help educate them about the importance of hearing health and protection, giving out advice, free audiological screening and earplugs.
Moreover, William Demant Foundation has a long history of funding projects that promote research and the dissemination of knowledge in audiology. In 2018, the Foundation financed 19 research projects, including three new PhD projects. As the PhD projects typically last three years, the Foundation also funded seven continued PhD projects from the previous years. In 2018, William Demant Foundation donated a total of DKK 12.3 million to leading universities around the world in for instance the US, Canada, the UK and Spain. Approximately DKK 17.2 million was donated to Danish universities.
For several years, William Demant Foundation has funded the Ida Institute and has contributed with DKK 12.5 million to the work of the Institute in 2018, while allocating the same sum for 2019. The Ida Institute is an organisation that works to disseminate patient-centered hearing rehabilitation globally and that develops tools to empower and support people with hearing impairment in their process of recognition and treatment.