News › Fraun­ho­fer IOF – Visit from the Fede­ral President

Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier honors futures stu­dies as part of event series “Werk­statt des Wan­dels” (Work­shop of Change)

Ger­man Fede­ral Pre­si­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier visi­ted the Fraun­ho­fer Insti­tute for Applied Optics and Pre­cis­ion Engi­nee­ring IOF in Jena today as part of the event series “Werk­statt des Wan­dels” (Work­shop of Change). He ther­eby reco­gni­zed the insti­tute as a place of suc­cessful trans­for­ma­tion that con­tri­bu­tes to new oppor­tu­ni­ties for society, the eco­nomy and industry.

For insti­tute direc­tor Andreas Tün­ner­mann the visit is a great honor: “The Fede­ral President’s visit at Fraun­ho­fer IOF empha­si­zes the importance of applied optics and pho­to­nics for the future of our society. Through their work, our rese­ar­chers make an important con­tri­bu­tion to the deve­lo­p­ment of new tech­no­lo­gies and inno­va­tions with the goal of making the lives of all peo­ple more sus­tainable, healt­hier, and safer in future.”

Andreas Tün­ner­mann also looks back with pride on the achie­ve­ments of his staff mem­bers in the last 30 years since the foun­ding of the insti­tute: “Our rese­ar­chers have alre­ady been awarded three times with the “Deut­scher Zukunfts­preis” (Ger­man Future Prize), the Ger­man Fede­ral President’s award for tech­no­logy and inno­va­tion, for ground­brea­king future tech­no­lo­gies that are deve­lo­ped at Fraun­ho­fer IOF in coope­ra­tion with part­ners from sci­ence and industry.”

Sha­ping digi­tal change and socie­tal transformation

During his visit today in Jena, Fraun­ho­fer IOF rese­ar­chers pre­sen­ted new tech­no­lo­gi­cal approa­ches that address cur­rent socie­tal chal­lenges and that will sup­port future trans­for­ma­ti­ons in modern living and working envi­ron­ments to the Fede­ral President.

A joint tour of the insti­tute firstly high­ligh­ted the topic of human-machine inter­ac­tion. It is the pre­re­qui­site for the use of robots or assis­tance sys­tems in, e.g., pro­duc­tion, but also in medi­cine and care. In this con­text, the rese­ar­chers pre­sen­ted a por­ta­ble 3D sen­sor that enables a mobile – and the­r­e­fore espe­ci­ally effi­ci­ent – mea­su­re­ment of com­plex objects. State-of-the-art sen­sor tech­no­logy, such as the sys­tem pre­sen­ted, will help to sup­port digi­ta­liza­tion in, for exam­ple, indus­trial pro­duc­tion in the future.

The secu­rity of our data in just that digi­tal world was also the topic in quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons: With the help of ent­an­gled pho­tons, our future com­mu­ni­ca­tion should become prac­ti­cally tap-proof. Here, Fraun­ho­fer IOF works clo­sely with part­ners from sci­ence and indus­try – for exam­ple as part of the QuNET initia­tive – to estab­lish new secu­rity stan­dards using quan­tum phy­sics approa­ches. On top of the deve­lo­p­ment and expan­sion of a quan­tum-secu­red high-secu­rity net­work in Ger­many with the cen­tral hub in Erfurt, the insti­tute also rese­ar­ches the satel­lite based exch­ange of quan­tum keys to create the basis for a glo­bal quan­tum net­work. In order to fur­ther advance rese­arch in this field, the new Fraun­ho­fer IOF rese­arch buil­ding, which is curr­ently under con­s­truc­tion, will have its own opti­cal ground sta­tion in the future.

Fur­ther­more, the Fede­ral Pre­si­dent visi­ted a labo­ra­tory for ultra-pre­cis­ion machi­ning. This pro­duc­tion pro­cess is used, among other things, in the manu­fac­tu­ring of high-pre­cis­ion optics for use in space. Fraun­ho­fer IOF is invol­ved in num­e­rous space mis­si­ons, espe­ci­ally those that are aimed at obser­ving Earth and thus enable more pre­cise rese­arch into cli­mate change. A cur­rent exam­ple is the Ger­man hyper­spec­tral satel­lite EnMAP. But the explo­ra­tion of the distant uni­verse is also inten­ded to find ans­wers to ques­ti­ons about our place in the uni­verse. Rese­ar­chers from Jena are curr­ently invol­ved with the ESA mis­sion JUICE. The mis­sion is focu­sed on rese­ar­ching the moons of Jupiter.

The visit to Fraun­ho­fer IOF con­cluded with a dia­log with inter­na­tio­nal stu­dents and junior rese­ar­chers from the fields of optics and pho­to­nics. The dis­cus­sion empha­si­zed the need for an open-min­ded cul­ture as the basis for an excel­lent and inter­na­tio­nally com­pe­ti­tive rese­arch environment.

Series »Werk­statt des Wan­dels« (Work­shop of Change) honors places of suc­cessful transformation

Fol­lo­wing his visit to Fraun­ho­fer IOF, the Fede­ral Pre­si­dent con­tin­ued his jour­ney to Carl Zeiss AG. In addi­tion, the »Work­shop Talks« also took place. Here, experts from sci­ence and indus­try dis­cus­sed the con­di­ti­ons that must be met for trans­for­ma­tion pro­ces­ses in high-tech to become suc­cess sto­ries and then pre­sen­ted their fin­dings to the Fede­ral President.

The event series »Werk­statt des Wan­dels« (Work­shop of Change) focu­ses on places where suc­cessful trans­for­ma­ti­ons unco­ver new oppor­tu­ni­ties for society. It is the Fede­ral President’s event series in coope­ra­tion with the BMW Foun­da­tion as well as the Carl-Zeiss-Stif­tung. It is being imple­men­ted in col­la­bo­ra­tion with the Cen­ter for Respon­si­ble Rese­arch and Inno­va­tion at Fraun­ho­fer IAO.

You can find the full press release on the Fraun­ho­fer IOF online press portal: