On 07.07.2022 the celebrations at the Beutenberg were literally overflowing.
Starting with the joint alumni meeting of the IAP and Fraunhofer IOF, to the topping-out ceremony for the new research building, which was also the beginning of the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of our partner institute and culminated in a - unfortunately rather wet - summer party!
But first things first: more than 30 former colleagues met after the 2-year break due to Corona in order to inform about current research topics of the two institutes IAP and Fraunhofer IOF. This year, the focus was on additive manufacturing, with Dr. Nils Heidler's (IOF) lecture also addressing metal optics in particular. Dr. Gabor Matthäus, IAP enriched the topic with 3D printing technology using UKP laser radiation. Traditionally, an alumnus reported on his work - this time Dr. Matthias Beier, who successfully founded the company SPACEOPTICS and is working on optics suitable for mass production for space applications. Afterwards, there was the opportunity to visit laboratories of the IAP research group "Fiber & Waveguidelasers" and to take a look at the world's most powerful laser.
The topping-out ceremony of the new research building fitted seamlessly into the programme: opposite the Abbe Center of Photonics (ACP) in the direct neighbourhood of the Fraunhofer IOF, laboratories and office space for approx. 50 employees are being built on 2,000m². The focus here will be on quantum research - a telescope dome is being built on the roof especially for this purpose, in order to be able to test remote information transmission using quantum technology from here.
This event and the 30th anniversary of the Fraunhofer IOF were not to be missed by many prominent representatives from science, industry and politics, who referred to the outstanding role of the Fraunhofer IOF for the location of Jena and also for Germany in optics, photonics and now also quantum technology. All speakers commended the high innovative strength and the commitment to finding new solutions in the future social fields of environment, health, energy and data security. For example, the energy-efficient LED lamp, new imaging processes for medicine and earth monitoring systems for climate-relevant data collection were and will be developed here, as well as the first quantum-secured data transmission between federal ministries. "Thuringia and photonics embody a success story of which we can be proud. More than 16,000 skilled workers, more than 180 companies and numerous research institutions in the field of optics and photonics are crown witnesses to this impressive 30-year development," said Minister President Bodo Ramelow.
Prof. Dr. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, emphasised in his greeting: "In particular, quantum technologies, which are becoming increasingly important in the Institute's portfolio, make a crucial contribution to securing Germany's and Europe's technological sovereignty and future competitiveness through their disruptive potential, including in imaging and communications security."
In particular, the three Future Prizes awarded to our scientists in 2006, 2013 and 2020 and the many successful spin-offs - 17 since 1992 - demonstrate the quality of the research results, also in terms of their relevance and feasibility for implementation in applicable products.
The close cooperation with our institute is a key factor in this success story - not only the results from basic research play a decisive role, but above all our colleagues with their know-how, creativity and team spirit!