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The Photonics Academy 2019 is a practical week for students of engineering and natural sciences. From July 21 to 26, 2019, they will have the opportunity to gain exclusive insight into the topic of Open Innovation. The participants visit well-known companies and institutes in the industry, speak with leading scientists and get an overview of the Open Innovation approach using the example of the key technology photonics. The Academy is organized under the umbrella of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In 2019, it is hosted by the Lichtwerkstatt at the Abbe Center of Photonics.

The Photonics Academy in Germany

Since the first Photonics Academy in 2012, more than 100 partners, companies and institutes from the entire industry in Germany have participated. Previous topics were laser technologies, optical technologies, organic light emitting diodes (OLED), communication technologies, biophotonics and digital production technologies such as 3D printing. The Photonics Academy is part of the Photonics Campus Germany - the joint junior initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German photonics industry and the industry associations VDMA, ZVEI and SPECTARIS. The aim of the Photonics Academy is to draw attention to key technologies for the use of light by well-trained young scientists and to make them sustainable for photonics. After all, the high-tech sector, with annual domestic production of € 31 billion and above-average growth of around six percent per year, needs well-trained young talent so that it can continue to occupy top international positions.

From idea to innovation

This year, the Open Innovation approach is the focus of the Photonics Academy. The participants learn hands-on about the possibilities offered by open innovation processes in the field of photonics and how innovative ideas are developed and translated into photonic products. In the Innovation Camp, it is a task of practical issue using hardware and software-based solution options to work on. In the team, the ideas and concepts are developed, prototypically implemented and presented in front of an expert jury.

To successfully implement the projects, the participants learn how to use Creative Thinking to develop creative ideas and solutions, gain knowledge of rapid prototyping technologies, and learn in various workshops about how to create precise and high-quality objects using 3D printing or laser cutting Easily create or quickly implement electronics-based projects using microcontroller.

What the Photonics Academy offers

  • Excursions to companies and institutes
  • Hands-on workshops (eg 3D printing, laser cutting, programming of microcontrollers)
  • Implementation of an own innovation concept in the Innovation Camp
  • Background discussions with founders and young professionals
  • Lectures by renowned experts

Who can participate

Bachelor's and Master's students of natural and engineering sciences are eligible to take part. Participation in the academy is free. Travel costs are covered (travel by train 2nd class, when using the car is equivalent train journey).

Application documents

  • Tabular CV
  • Letter of motivation (about 1 DIN A4 page)
  • Proof of achievement from the studies, first semester: study certificate instead of proof of achievement

Please apply via email to

Deadline for applications: 30th May 2019

Preview on the projects of the Photonics Academy 2019 in Jena. © FSU/Jena.

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