Hermann Hauser

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Person.png Hermann Hauser  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(entrepreneur, venture capitalist, inventor)
Hermann Hauser.jpg
BornHermann Maria Hauser
23 October 1948
Vienna, Austria
Alma materUniversity of Vienna, King's College (Cambridge)

Hermann Hauser is an Austrian-born entrepreneur, venture capitalist and inventor who is primarily associated with the Cambridge technology community in England.[1]

Acorn, Arm and Amadeus

Hermann Hauser is probably best known for his part in setting up Acorn Computers in 1978 which was taken over by Olivetti in 1985. Hauser then became involved in spinning out Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) from Acorn in 1990 and approached the US firm Intel to ask if he could modify one of its chips.

"Intel said get lost," says Hauser. "Who the hell are you? They are perfect as they are."

Hauser instead asked two engineers to create Acorn's own version. There are now 225bn descendants of Arm, the biggest rival to Intel.

If you are reading this on a mobile device there is a very high chance you are holding one of the Arm chips in your hand – the company estimates they are embedded in 95% of smartphones worldwide.[2]

In 1997 Hermann Hauser co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd, which 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.[3]

Observer profile

In a full-page profile in the Observer on 24 July 2022, Hermann Hauser said that despite Brexit a hi-tech future leaves Britain no choice but to turn to Europe:

Loss of tech sovereignty

Hauser spends his time between the UK and New Zealand (where he and his wife were stuck during pandemic lockdowns), but he describes himself as a “passionate” European. That meant he felt the UK’s withdrawal from the EU as a bitter personal blow.

He also thinks it was a strategic mistake. His grand theory – he is working on a book about it and has discussed it with senior government officials – is that the US, China and Europe are the only three “technology sovereignty circles”, with the chip-making factories and 5G knowhow needed for a modern economy.

“Britain has no chance of being technologically sovereign,” Hauser says. “Brexit has been the biggest loss of British sovereignty since 1066.”

51st US state

Hauser also warns against the UK throwing in its lot completely with the US, which became an unreliable partner under Donald Trump, and wants it to revive cooperative ventures such as the EU’s Horizon Project, which funds scientific research, but which is under threat amid rows over post-Brexit trade rules.[4]

“I hope that despite the toxicity that you have with Brexit between Europe and Britain at the moment – which is idiotic – I hope that Britain will join Europe’s technology sovereignty circle,” he says. “Britain doesn’t want to become the 51st state of the United States.”[5]

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