As one of the most successful optics locations in Europe, the Jena region is one of the leading players on the German optics scene. More than 13,500 employees currently generate sales of over 2 billion euros every year in optical technologies. The cluster has experienced an average growth in sales of 10 % in recent years.
Across the world, the successful interdisciplinary cooperation between business and science in modern optics has for years been viewed as an example of effective regional cooperation and evidence of the Jena location’s capabilities.
In 1999, the region’s players merged as OptoNet e.v. Companies in their respective markets of the optics network include the subsidiaries of Carl Zeiss AG and Schott AG, as well as Jenoptik AG. To these must be added a multitude of growth-oriented SMEs as well as universities and research institutions, among these the FSU Jena and the Fraunhofer IOF.
The founding of the JOIN – Jena Optical INnovations cluster by Fraunhofer and the Free State of Thuringia in 2006 created a platform for pan-institutional precompetitive development of base technologies and their transfer to industrial production.
On the basis of a continuously updated strategy process, one of the IOF’s key activities within the CoOPTICs – Cooperate in Optics strategy in 2007/2008 was the substantive realignment and focus of the cluster toward growth markets.