New partnership between the optics region Rochester and Jena

With signing of a Memorandum of Understanding the partnership was taken to a new level

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on September 12th in Rochester, the partnership between the world's two leading optics regions was taken to a new level. The exchange will be strengthened, and research and industry on both sides of the Atlantic will profit.

The 'sister cities' of Jena and Rochester (USA) have a lot in common: Here, as there, an optics industry has developed since the 19th century together with suppliers. While in Jena the collaboration between Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe significantly furthered optics research, soon after in Rochester, local industrialists George Eastman (Eastman Kodak) and Edward Bausch (Bausch & Lomb) founded an optics institute at the university. Since then there have been many changes. Today, both regions are enormously strong locations for the optical industry and research.

On September 12th 2016, delegations from Jena and Rochester signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the collaboration with companies and universities in both regions. On the German side, the initiatives of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics as well as the Thuringian Optonet Photonics Network will be sustained. On the American side are the University of Rochester and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster of local New York Photonics Network, which will attend a separate meeting on September 13th.

For the academics, concrete projects are already lined up: there will be a student exchange as part of the ERASMUS Program and scientists from each side will hold guest lectures. Supported by the BMBF Program for International Cooperation, development projects between research institutes and companies on both sides are planned.

Joint scientific conference planned 

The establishment of a joint conference is also being worked towards. A starting point for which could be the Jena OptoNet Workshop 'Ultra Precision Manufacturing'. The event, to take place for the 8th time on September 21st, is expecting 150 experts from across the world this year.

To mark the start of the new partnership, Jena is bringing a present: they have built a computer generated hologram as an exhibit for the Rochester Museum and Science Center. It shows Jena's distinctive skyline.

In summary, FSU Professor Dr. Andreas Tünnermann, director of Fraunhofer IOF and leader of the Institute for Applied Optics, says of the initiative, 'Through close networking between the Photonics Center of Excellence in Jena and the optics players in Rochester in terms of research and education, the innovation in both locations will be significantly strengthened. This should create the basis for new products, in particular for market information and communication as well as mobility and production.

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