News › The W3+ Fair cele­bra­tes a suc­cessful pre­miere in Jena

The new W3+ Fair Jena has hit the high-tech nerve of Thu­rin­gia: Around 160 exhi­bi­tors, part­ners and spea­k­ers wel­co­med over 2000 trade visi­tors as well as the Thu­rin­gian Minis­ter Pre­si­dent. The result: the latest cut­ting-edge tech­no­lo­gies, enthu­si­a­stic par­ti­ci­pants and ple­nty of inspi­ra­tion. 

The W3+ Fair Jena ( ope­ned its doors for the first time on 29 + 30 Novem­ber 2023 with wel­co­ming spee­ches from Bodo Rame­low, Minis­ter Pre­si­dent of Thu­rin­gia, and the Mayor of Jena. Jena’s first indus­try trade fair brought tog­e­ther play­ers from the cut­ting-edge tech­no­lo­gies of pho­to­nics, optics, elec­tro­nics and mecha­nics in the Spar­kas­sen-Arena Jena: Over 160 exhi­bi­tors, part­ner asso­cia­ti­ons and spea­k­ers met a total of 2027 trade visi­tors. »What a great atmo­sphere at the new W3+ Fair Jena! We are still buz­zing from the suc­cessful pre­miere and all the posi­tive feed­back. Pro­vi­ding a stage for pho­to­nics and neigh­bou­ring key tech­no­lo­gies has paid off: we will be brin­ging this enri­ching live exch­ange across pro­fes­sio­nal and regio­nal boun­da­ries to Jena every year in future,« says Nora Kirs­ten, Mana­ging Direc­tor of Gold Part­ner Opto­Net e.V., happily.

Full ais­les, good discussions

A good third of the exhi­bi­tion space was occu­p­ied by com­pa­nies from Thu­rin­gia. Howe­ver, exhi­bi­tors from other fede­ral sta­tes and 10 other count­ries, inclu­ding the UK, France and the USA, also took the oppor­tu­nity to pre­sent them­sel­ves to the region. Satis­fac­tion was high: accor­ding to the exhi­bi­tor sur­vey, 84 per cent of the com­pa­nies are alre­ady making firm plans to attend the next event in Sep­tem­ber 2024. It was­n’t just the 23 com­pa­nies at the joint Thu­rin­gian stand that were very busy: »So many good dis­cus­sions with new and old cont­acts in a short space of time at the cradle of indus­trial optics – a for­mat like this was long over­due in Jena,« con­firmed Dr Jörg Wag­ner, Mana­ging Direc­tor of LEJ Leis­tungs­elek­tro­nik Jena and new Chair­man of the Board of Opto­Net e.V.

The visi­tors also gave the event top marks. Most of them came from the region. But even guests from abroad, for exam­ple from the Net­her­lands, Lithua­nia and Switz­er­land, used the first event to make cont­act with com­pa­nies in Thuringia.

Top spea­k­ers from Jen­op­tik, Zeiss and ASML

The accom­pany­ing con­fe­rence en-tech.talks, which took place at the same time, also got off to a very good start in Jena. High-calibre spea­k­ers from Jen­op­tik, Zeiss, ASML, the Fraun­ho­fer-Gesell­schaft and many more gave talks over two days in front of a packed audi­ence. The inte­rest was great. In addi­tion to the EPIC Tech­Watch, the Fede­ral Agency for Leap Inno­va­tions SPRIND sent four start-ups with new ideas to pitch on stage. Sili­con Sax­ony also brought a far-sigh­ted per­spec­tive to the podium: clo­ser tech­no­lo­gi­cal coope­ra­tion for Cen­tral Ger­many in terms of skil­led labour, pro­jects and financing.

The Ernst Abbe Uni­ver­sity of Applied Sci­en­ces pre­sen­ted eight of its cur­rent uni­ver­sity rese­arch pro­jects in the Cam­pus Area. Offers and sup­port for for­eign co-ope­ra­tion pro­jects were pro­vi­ded by the Europe Enter­prise Net­work EEN, among others.

Strong sup­port from the region Jena/ Thuringia

Over­all, the W3+ Fair was sup­ported by many pro­fes­sio­nal asso­cia­ti­ons and num­e­rous part­ners from the region, inclu­ding the Thu­rin­gian Clus­ter Manage­ment LEG Thü­rin­gen, the Metro­po­li­tan Region of Cen­tral Ger­many, the East Thu­rin­gia Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­merce in Gera, the Trid­elta Cam­pus Herms­dorf, the Centre for Mecha­ni­cal Engi­nee­ring ThZM, Enter­prise Europe Net­work EEN and the medi­cal tech­no­logy net­work med­ways. The lat­ter orga­nised a Life­Sci­ence Day spe­ci­fi­cally for the W3+ Fair.

»The new W3+ Fair Jena was a com­plete suc­cess. It is based on the strong pho­to­nics sec­tor, the lea­ding pho­to­nics loca­tion of Jena/Thuringia, our highly moti­va­ted part­ners and the estab­lished trade fair con­cept. This com­bi­na­tion enab­led us to create real added value for all par­ti­ci­pants. The W3+ Fair is the per­fect mar­ket­place for the entire value chain of enab­ling tech­no­lo­gies – this is where part­ner­ships and ideas for future inno­va­tions are born,« says Jörg Brück, Pro­ject Direc­tor of the W3+ Fair.

At the W3+ Fair, the net­wor­king trade fair for enab­ling tech­no­lo­gies, cut­ting-edge tech­no­lo­gies are pre­sen­ted, inter­di­sci­pli­nary net­works are estab­lished, know­ledge is exch­an­ged and inno­va­tions for the major issues of our time are launched.

The upco­ming W3+ Fair Jena will take place on 25 + 26 Sep­tem­ber 2024. In spring, on 13 + 14 March 2024, the trade fair will cele­brate its tenth anni­ver­sary at its home venue in Wetzlar.

More infor­ma­tion and images at
Image mate­rial on the W3+ Fair press page under Downloads

About the W3+ Fair 

The event traces its roots back to an indus­try imi­ta­tive orga­nised in Wetz­lar and Mit­tel­hes­sen, and its objec­tive is to inter­link the four sec­tors of optics, pho­to­nics, elec­tro­nics and mecha­nics. The aim is that new inter­faces and points of cont­act will pave the way for for­ward-loo­king tech­no­lo­gies. The trade fair debuted at the Rit­tal Arena in Wetz­lar in Febru­ary 2014. The W3+ Fair is orga­nised by the Ham­burg-based com­pany, FLEET Events ( In Sep­tem­ber 2019, the W3+ Fair Rhine Val­ley cele­bra­ted its pre­miere in the four-county region. In 2023, the orga­ni­zer  has expan­ded its port­fo­lio to include the W3+ Fair Jena.