Optical Technology

Experiment in einem Laser-Forschungslabor unter sauberen Bedingungen, blaue Linse, waehrend der Serie von Tests, unscharfen Hintergrund | © Getty Images/MarcQuebec

Optical Technologies

The German Capital Region

The photonic industry in Berlin and Brandenburg has seen a lot of growth in recent years, especially in the area of ophthalmics and optomechanics. The multi-state photonics cluster consists of 390 technology companies, ten universities, and 26 extra-university research institutions. In total, around 16.600 people are employed in photonics and microsystems technology.


Around ten percent of Germany’s photonics companies are located in the state Thuringia, bringing research and production together in an industry landscape without peer in Europe. Thuringia’s photonics industry is characterized by the predominance of small and medium-sized enterprises. The photonics industry in the federal state generates a total annual turnover of EUR 3.1 billion (as of 2017). Thuringia's photonics industry with almost 190 companies and the nine universities and research institutions are responsible for 15.800 jobs.

The dense concentration of photonics actors within the wider technology region of Jena, Erfurt, Ilmenau, and Gera acts as a major locational advantage for the sector, and provides a solid platform for knowledge transfer and partnership.

OptoNet - Photonics Network Thuringia

OptoNet e.V. represents the interests of around 100 members in Thuringia’s photonics cluster, providing a platform for networking, exchange and partnership to all photonics industry players in the state. Beyond internationally renowned companies like ZEISS, JENOPTIK, SCHOTT and Jena-Optronik (Airbus Group), OptoNet members include a large number of small and medium-sized technology companies, whose products and services also play a leading or decisive world market role.

Research community members include science institutes like the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) and the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) as well as numerous institutions of higher education.

The cluster promotes optical technologies in the region in order to improve competitiveness and optimize cluster visibility – both nationally and internationally.


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Silke Poppe


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