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LICHTWERKSTATT - NEW CONJOINT WAYS IN OPEN PHOTONICS PROCESSES

The origin of our initiative to establish a Lichtwerkstatt at ACP was the Open Photonics call issued by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Starting from March 1, 2017, together with its partners Fraunhofer IOF Jena and the University of Applied Sciences Mainz, ACP will run a three-year BMBF-funded project exploring completely new ideas in innovation processes in photonics. The Lichtwerkstatt is supposed to generate new forms of collaborations between companies, universities and students in order to involve a broad group of people in the innovation processes of photonics. In addition to employees of the companies and scientists, especially our students of the Master's degree programs of physics, photonics, IT sciences and media management are expected to be the main participants in the Lichtwerkstatt. It will include three key aspects:

Open Photonics Makerspace

Similar to fablabs, the Open Photonics Makerspace will appear as an open innovation laboratory, as a creative place where the exchange of ideas as well as shared projects are focussed. In the Makerspace, all stakeholders addressed will get access to various technologies and toolkits for generating, developing and testing ideas.  In doing so, we address users ability to implement and execute their own ideas and to generate so-called 'user-driven innovation'. The interdisciplinary and open approach of the Makerspace enables a new way of learning for the users and access to a broad innovation potential for enterprises. Bringing together users and professionals of the photonics industry helps the enterprises to develop their products more customer-centered, which in turn can be a competitive advantage due budgetary and time restrictions of photonics SMEs.

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Open Photonics Brainshops

In order to provide the Lichtwerkstatt with ideas for projects workshops and similar events will be conducted regarding specific topics with direct and indirect reference to photonics. The name Open Photonics Brainshops already illustrates that the mental and creative potential of all stakeholders addressed, especially the students with their professional skills, should be referred to, stimulated and re-connected. The workshops are intended to be interactive, based on Design Thinking and User Centered Design. Lecturers from various departments will discuss challenges and limits of technologies and application areas with the participants of the Lichtwerkstatt. Amongst other aspects, with the ideas identified in the Brainshops, students get the possibility to work on them within their Master's thesis in cooperation with companies. First ideas and examples include: digital photonics, LED-application, medical photonics, photonic sensors, optics in automotive or photonic smart wear.

Open Photonics Lectures

These special lecture events take place in the Makerspace and complement the Brainshops, provide the opportunity to mediate methods of areas like innovation, innovations management, entrepreneurship and design to the different groups of players. The aim of these events is the improvement of the actors' basic skills with respect to generating ideas and innovation. By using events, well adapted for particular target groups (e.g. interactive workshops, contests), practice and skills are focussed. The selection of topics is therefore completely different to the topics of traditional lectures and seminars at university which leads to the enhancement of the experimental and entrepreneurial spirit/characteristic of the Open Photonics Lectures.Logo_BMBF_web169

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