"Let's start making Europe now!"

French Embassy in Germany visits Fraunhofer IOF together with French scientists

Jena (Germany) | May 15, 2023

"Bienvenue au Fraunhofer IOF" was the motto on the Beutenberg campus last week. A delegation led by the French Embassy in Germany visited the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF on May 11. During lectures and discussions, German and French representatives from politics, science and industry exchanged views on opportunities and perspectives for closer cooperation in the future, especially in the future field of quantum technologies.

With the "France 2030" program, Emmanuel Macron recently announced a new investment plan for France. A total of 54 billion euros is to be made available during five years to strengthen France's innovation potential in relevant future technologies in the long term and make it internationally competitive.


Against this backdrop, the visit by the French delegation sounded out the possibilities for intensified Franco-German cooperation in the future. Axelle Cheney-Grünberger is Senior International Expert for Innovations for the French Embassy in Germany and simultaneously responsible for French-German cooperations at the Fraunhofer Headquarters in Munich. She referred to the challenges facing Germany and France together - be it recent geopolitical upheavals in Europe since Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine or global challenges such as climate change. There is a new "urgency for more cooperation," she stressed, and appealed for a strengthened European community consciousness: "Let's start making Europe now!"

Members of the French delegation and Fraunhofer IOF stand for a group photo in front of the institute building.
© Fraunhofer IOF
On May 11, under the leadership of the French Embassy in Germany, French representatives from politics, science and industry were guests at Fraunhofer IOF.

Opening the door to new Franco-German partnerships

The exchange focused specifically on research projects in the fields of quantum technologies with an emphasis on communication and computing. The practical nature of the meeting, which is intended to initiate very concrete steps for the development of further research cooperation, was also made clear by the list of participants: In addition to representatives of the French Embassy (Department for Science and Technology, Counselor for Space and Business France - the agency for the international development of the French economy), the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and selected French start-ups such as Quandela and Alice&Bob were also involved.

Dr. Fabian Steinlechner together with guests in the laboratory.
© Fraunhofer IOF
During a laboratory tour, the participants learned more about current quantum research projects at Fraunhofer IOF from quantum researcher Dr. Fabian Steinlechner.

State visit of Emmanuel Macron expected in Germany in July

A few days before the meeting at Fraunhofer IOF, it had become known that Emmanuel Macron is planning a state visit to Germany from July 2 to 4. It will be the first state visit by a French president in 23 years.

The Office of the Federal President and the Elysée Palace jointly informed about the upcoming state act on May 8. The announcement on the commemoration day of Germany's liberation from National Socialism is deliberately chosen: the visit of the French head of state is intended to mark "the beginning of a new chapter in the decades-long friendship between the two countries," a joint statement said.

Dr. Jan Kinast stands in front of a machine and explains the process of ultra-precise free-form machining to the guests.
© Fraunhofer IOF
A demonstration of ultra-precise free-form machining was offered by Dr. Jan Kinast from Fraunhofer IOF.