In order to intensify the partnership between the two leading optics regions Jena and Rochester, a Thuringian delegation of political and scientific representatives visited the US city of Rochester, New York, on 15 May 2017. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow, the company QED Technologies, Inc. was first visited. The world’s leading manufacturer of optical production systems is at the same time a pioneer and the sole supplier of MRF technology (magnetorheological finishing) - a surface treatment technology.
During his visit, Ramelow emphasized the similarity of both cities and the importance of cross-border cooperation between science and industry. QED Technologies, Inc., for example, has been cultivating relationships with Fraunhofer IOF since 2012.
Laser projector for the Rochester Museum and Science Center
The representatives from Jena handed over a computer-generated hologram to the exhibition Illumination: The World of Light and Optics, which features the prominent skylines of the two partner cities of Rochester and Jena with the inscription »We Love photonics«. It is intended to represent the close connection of the two optics locations.
Daniel J. Menelly, scientific curator of the RMSC, thanked the exceptional exhibit. »We are very pleased about the generous contribution of the Fraunhofer Institute to our exhibition. It is a great opportunity for the visitors to experience such an advanced technology at first hand. It also illustrates the enormous importance of light for our everyday life«.
The exhibit shows a new technology from the field of diffractive optical elements. In contrast to conventional imaging via shadow casting, for example by a slide, the image information is stored here in a computer-generated and lithographically produced microstructure and reconstructed by illumination with laser light on a screen. The technology has a high potential for the future and the study of the way in which light beams interact with even the smallest surface structures. This provides important insights on how to make use of light as a tool.
»Light helps us to overcome global challenges, for example in the areas of health, energy or security," said Prof. Andreas Tünnermann, Director of Fraunhofer IOF. »Our exhibit shows an energy-efficient solution for screen applications with the help of nanostructured surfaces. It is an honor for us to present this technology in an exhibition of the RMSC«.
The cities of Jena and Rochester are now among the leading optics regions in the world. While Jena's cooperation between Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe was instrumental in the development of optical research, the industrialists George Eastman (Eastman Kodak) and Edward Bausch (Bausch & Lomb) started off in Rochester a little later. Since then, both regions have grown to become extremely strong locations for optical industry and research. By joining the High Performance Centers of Photonics in Jena and the optical operators in Rochester, the innovative power of both locations will be further strengthened.