New Partnership between Rochester and Jena


The University of Rochester and Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the Erasmus program. In the front row from left to right: Andrew Berger, Jane Gatewood, Wendi Heinzelman, Walter Rosenthal, Claudia Hillinger, and Tom Brown. In the rear Kevin Füchsel (left) and Andreas Tünnermann. (Source: B. Vick, U. Rochester)

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in September in Rochester, the partnership between the world’s two leading optics regions was taken to a new level. The exchange will be strengthened, and research and industry on both sides of the Atlantic shall profit.

The “sister cities” of Jena, Germany, and Rochester, New York, USA, have a lot in common: In both places, an optics industry has developed since the 19th century together with suppliers. While in Jena the collaboration between Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe significantly furthered optics research, in Rochester, local industrialists George Eastman from Eastman Kodak and Edward Bausch (Bausch & Lomb) founded an optics institute at the university soon after. Since then, there have been many changes. Today, both regions are enormously strong locations for the optical industry and research.

On September 12th 2016, delegations from Jena and Rochester signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the collaboration with companies and universities in both regions. On the German side, the initiatives of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics as well as Optonet Photonics Network will be sustained. On the American side are the University of Rochester and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster of local New York Photonics Network attended a separate meeting on September 13th.

For the academics, concrete projects are already lined up: there will be a student exchange as part of the Erasmus Program and scientists from each side will hold guest lectures. Supported by the BMBF Program for International Cooperation, development projects between research institutes and companies on both sides are planned.

The establishment of a joint conference is also being worked towards. A starting point for this was the Jena OptoNet Workshop “Ultra Precision Manufacturing”. The event took place for the 8th time on September 21st and drew 150 experts from across the world this year. (Source: Fh. IOF)

Links: Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Jena, Germany • Fraunhofer IOF, Jena, GermanyOptoNet e.V., Jena, Germany • University of Rochester, Rochester, USA • Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Rochester, USA

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