From array projectors in the automotive sector and real-time scanners in production to quantum technologies for microscopy and communication security - Fraunhofer IOF develops innovative solutions with light for a wide range of applications.

Tell us your request and we will realize the solution.

Fraunhofer IOF – We about us

Solutions with light


We conduct application-oriented research and development along the entire photonic innovation chain. Our highly trained scientists never lose sight of our research partners’ and customers’ mission, regardless of whether the goal is the scientific exploration of space or the transfer to commercial marketing.

Together we strive for innovative solutions that provide a technological advantage in science and industry and open up new fields of application for photonics. Covering the whole range of basic research and applied research to the capability of prototypical production of components and systems, we develop suitable solutions for a multitude of photonic challenges. Our work is focused on the business areas of light sources and lasers, opto-mechanical systems as well as sensor technology and metrology.

Our research is based on the passion to face challenges and to break new ground. 


Contract research with the offer of the complete process chain

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF develops solutions for all aspects of light generation, light guidance and light measurement. Depending on the task, we can offer the entire process chain or individual process steps for each of these areas – the design, the production of components, the assembly to opto-mechanical or opto-electronic systems, as well as a holistic characterization. The interdisciplinary concentration of our competences in the fields of optics and precision engineering allows us to develop complex and unique photonic components and systems.


From the definition of the problem to the market launch

If desired, we accompany our customers from their initial request to the market launch. All our research and development processes are carried out in line with market trends. This turns our ideas and approaches into sustainable solutions for our customers. We also take care of translating results and developments into the processes of our partners and customers in the form of personnel qualification or technology transfer.


Offer of services and patent licenses

  • In addition to contract research, we also offer individual services according to our developed technologies. Our services include, for example, the functional coating of surfaces, material and component testing, ultra-precision machining of components, high-speed 3D measurements or the construction of tailor-made special machines. You can find more information about our services on the corresponding technology pages.
  • Fraunhofer IOF holds a large number of patents on optical technologies and developments, for which we offer various licensing models. Our patents can be viewed on the websites of the corresponding technologies.


For industry, service companies and science

Our range of services is aimed at industrial and service companies of all sizes - whether small/medium-sized companies or corporations - and at scientific institutions. The customers of Fraunhofer IOF come from the fields of aerospace, medical and security technology, information, communication, consumer electronics, mobility, production and research.

Our range of services includes system solutions - new system design concepts, the development of technologies, manufacturing and measurement techniques, and the construction of prototypes and pilot series for applications in the wavelength range from millimeters to nanometers. In addition, we also assist our customers with integrating the solutions into their processes.


From Jena to the world and beyond

Our scientists also realize solutions for clients far outside Germany. Our developments are used wherever light can unfold its potential. Some developments from Fraunhofer IOF have even left the earth and are used on the International Space Station (ISS), among other places.


Our range of services:


For industry, service companies and scientific institutionsof all sizes

  • Feasibility & design studies
  • Process simulation
  • Experimental R&D services
  • Development and optimization of manufacturing processes
  • Development of new optical components and systems
  • Manufacturing of prototypes

  • Patent licensing
  • Material and component testing
  • Technology transfer and personnel qualification
  • Innovation management & business model development
  • Support for technology spin-offs