In 2017, we launched the "Lichtwerkstatt Makerspace" at the Abbe Center of Photonics. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) the project investigates and explores open innovation approaches in the field of photonics.
The Lichtwerkstatt is Germany's first Photonics Makerspace where citizens, researchers and companies with an interest in optics and photonics can gain free and easy-to-use access to state-of-the-art technical equipment (including AR/VR, 3D scanning, 3D printing, laser cutting, microelectronics) and the necessary know-how to realize own ideas. In addition to representatives from companies and science, many dedicated Master's degree students from physics, photonics, IT sciences and media management are the main Makerspace users. Thanks to our enthusiastic makers, the Lichtwerkstatt has meanwhile developed into a vivid space for creative work, sharing knowledge and joint experimentation.
Since July 2020, the Lichtwerkstatt has adjusted its topical focus to supporting long-term cooperations of makers and inventors with industrial companies and start-ups. At least in Germany, the "Lichtwerkstatt Pro" is unique in its implementation of the open innovation approach. Currently, three projects hosted by the photonics industry have opened their individual innovation process for an active maker community consisting of tinkerers, citizens, students and researchers with different relations to the photonic sciences. Through this new form of collaboration, creative minds are helping those companies to break traditional patterns of thinking, to enrich their innovation projects with inspiration and complement the resources of internal R&D departments. These open innovation processes, shared between Makerspace users and companies, are fueled by the Lichtwerkstatt through various instruments such as hackathons or workshops.
In the project "Lichtwerkstatt Pro", the Abbe Center of Photonics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena is collaborating with the Lastronics GmbH in Jena and the University of Applied Sciences Mainz. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the Lichtwerkstatt Pro at least until 2023.
Prof. Dr. Oliver MAURONER
University of Applied Sciences, School of Business, Mainz
Phone: +49 6131 628-3222