The laying of the cornerstone for a new research building opposite the Fraunhofer IOF and the Abbe Center of Photonics was properly honoured on 15.07.2021 by representatives from politics and research.
The following came specially to the event: Thuringia's Minister President B. Ramelow and Science Minister W. Tiefensee, Jena's Lord Mayor Dr. T. Nitzsche, and from Berlin Dr. H. Zeisel, Ministerial Director for Technology-Oriented Research for Innovations in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
In their speeches, they all emphasized the outstanding research achievements of our partner institute without forgetting that our researchers also make a significant contribution. Prof. Dr. W. Rosenthal, President of our University, also highlighted the special successes of the Faculty of Physics in the CHE ranking, where we certainly play an important role as the institute with the most third-party funding. The successes of the Abbe School of Photonics and the Max Planck School of Photonics were also mentioned in this context.
The new research building will mainly be home to quantum technologies, as their importance for solving future-relevant topics such as data security, medical diagnostics and powerful computers for complex calculations, e.g. for weather phenomena or simulations of the spread of diseases, is growing immensely.
The fact that this is also perceived by politicians is confirmed by funding at various levels:
Including ongoing projects, the state of Thuringia provides around 35 million euros in funding for quantum research until the end of 2024. Most recently, 6 million euros were granted for the "Quantum Hub Thüringen", a new competence network of eleven Thuringian research institutions. In addition, there are currently ongoing federal projects worth around 60 million euros, some of which are coordinated and implemented at the Fraunhofer IOF. For example, the Fraunhofer IOF is responsible for coordinating the major QuNET initiative funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), an initiative for research into highly secure quantum communication.
After all the successes in research, however, the most important task is to generate a transfer of knowledge to industry. Dr. Herbert Zeisel underlined the close interaction between science and industry: "Fraunhofer has become an innovation engine of the German economy. Here in Jena, this success shines particularly brightly. The Fraunhofer IOF is exemplary for the innovative strength of the region. The Beutenberg Campus is the science centre in Thuringia."
Institute Director Prof. Dr. Andreas Tünnermann is already looking forward to the completion of the extension building planned for 2023: "With our newest research building, we gain important space for the implementation of original ideas in quantum technologies with added value for German and European industry. This is an important strategic step for our institute, as the new building will enable us to synergistically combine the various activities in the fields of quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum imaging."
Laying of the cornerstone of the new research building of the Fraunhofer IOF at the Beutenberg CampusImage: Ira Winkler (University Jena)