Published: 10 September 2020, 22:13 | By: Sabine Best and Christian Helgert.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has announced its funding decision for the Lichtwerkstatt initiative with 600,000 EUR from 2020 till 2023. In the project "Lichtwerkstatt Pro - Open Photonics Innovation Processes in the Light Region Jena", the Abbe Center of Photonics is collaborating with Lastronics GmbH Jena and the University of Applied Sciences Mainz. The aim of the joint project is to enable new forms of cooperation and open innovation between science and industry including a vivid photonics maker and start-up scene.
In operation already since 2017, the Lichtwerkstatt is facing now new challenges. We are more strongly engaging in 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. Start-up initiatives, small- and medium-sized companies that are willing to open up their innovation processes and think outside the box are welcome in the Lichtwerkstatt at any time.