Internationalization of Networks

Georg Korn, Head of the Department of Experimental Programs at the Prague Institute. (Source: Ralf A. Niggemann)

Georg Korn, Head of the Department of Experimental Programs at the Prague Institute. (Source: Ralf A. Niggemann)

In late summer, a delegation of Wetzlar Network took a trip to the Czech capital for an in situ assessment of the possibilities of cooperation between the industry network and its members with Prague research institutes and clusters. The main focus of the trip was a visit to the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, which coordinates, as the partner of a pan-European consortium, the project Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) in the Czech Republic. The joint aim of the ELI project is the development of state-of-the-art laser technology for scientific and industrial applications.

Georg Korn, Head of the Department of Experimental Programs at the Prague Institute, welcomed the guests from Wetzlar. For Korn, these research activities are both future- and target-oriented: “The ELI project will bring forth new technologies not only for medical imaging, diagnostics and radiotherapy, but also for materials developing and testing, X-ray optics and a wide range of other applications.” Stefan Borneis of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, who supports the ELI project in an advisory capacity, sees it as an opportunity for European science and industry alike.

With ELI it is already possible today to plan the highly complex laser experiments using virtual reality and to experience them virtually with 3D VR glasses. (Source: Ralf A. Niggemann)

With ELI, it is already possible today to plan the highly complex laser experiments using virtual reality and to experience them virtually with 3D VR glasses. (Source: Ralf A. Niggemann)

The representatives from Wetzlar and Prague agreed that the opportunities and the results of the research in the ELI project should be used on an international scale. The extent of the ELI developments was shown to the visitors during a guided tour through the institute: With ELI it is already possible today to plan the highly complex laser experiments using virtual reality and to experience them virtually with 3D VR glasses.

After the joint lunch, André Noack and Network manager Ralf Niggemann presented the Wetzlar Network and the funding program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The main purpose of the cooperation in the BMBF funding program, according to André Noack, is the internationalization of networks. It will focus on cooperation projects that will also involve Wetzlar companies. In the first phase, potential R&D projects from the fields of medical and laser technology are to be selected and more precisely defined, Niggemann added.

The representatives of the ELI project were visibly impressed by the first ideas and assured their cooperation. In addition, they announced their intention to establish contact with the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester, USA. Following this, André Noack presented the BMBF funding program to the representatives of the Středočeské Inovační Centrum (SIC), an innovation cluster that likewise indicated keen interest in cooperating with Wetzlar Network. A return visit to Wetzlar would be feasible within the framework of the W3+ FAIR in February 2017. (Source: Wetzlar Network)

Links: Wetzlar Network, Wetzlar, Germany • Project Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), Inst. of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

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