Attractive platform for knowledge transfer: the W3+ FAIR in Wetzlar. (Image: Christian Plaum)
Attractive platform for knowledge transfer: the W3+ FAIR in Wetzlar. (Image: Christian Plaum)


Hot Spot

Over 150 exhibitors from ten countries will be presenting their products and services at the W3+ FAIR on March 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The networking fair in Wetzlar is a must for many experts and visitors from the optics, electronics and mechanics sectors.

There’s no doubt about it – the W3+ FAIR has gained a reputation as a key networking fair in an impressively short time. Exhibitors are coming to the fair in ever greater numbers and trade visitors are traveling from further and further afield. What began as an opportunity for the region’s many innovative enterprises and technology leaders to showcase their portfolio has evolved into a successful forum for the optics, electronics and mechanics sectors that has attained supraregional recognition.

Wide range of topics at the fair

This supraregional and international reach is encouraging. “It increases the concentration of expertise in Wetzlar at the two-day event. And it widens the range of topics expected and found at the fair,” explains Jörg Brück, W3+ FAIR Project Director. At any rate, so much know-how in the fields of optics, electronics and mechanics is hard to find under one roof. Other exhibitors beside Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, Leica Microsystems, Märzhäuser, OptoTech and Pfeiffer Vacuum include Satisloh, Schneider, Schmidt + Bender and Werth Messtechnik. For the first time, there will be a joint stand representing the traditional optics stronghold Jena.

The great appeal of the W3+ FAIR is partly the result of the excellent reputation enjoyed by Wetzlar as a technology location, and partly of the combination of the three high-tech industries optics, electronics and mechanics. After all, modern technological developments and innovations can no longer be achieved by the solo efforts of single companies alone – there needs to be close cooperation between companies from different sectors. “This is exactly the stimulus the W3+ FAIR provides,” explains Ralf Niggemann, Manager of Wetzlar Network: “This is where experts and decision-makers meet, where future-oriented developments are initiated and synergies established. The latest technology concepts from research and practice are discussed here in workshops, presentations and seminars.”

Flanders and Brainport Industries as special guests

The Belgian region of Flanders will host the series of presentations “100% Flanders in 100 Minutes”. Speakers such as Peter Siemkens from the European Cluster of Excellence in Smart Electronic Systems (DSP Valley) or Photonics expert Prof. Hugo Thienpont from the VUB in Brussels will show the opportunities for the three sectors in this photonics hub in Germany’s neighboring country. Dr. Marc Corthout from Open Manufacturing Campus will outline the opportunities of “Open innovation in Engineering and Manufacturing in Flanders”.

Of interest to the medical technology sector is the partnership with the Brainport Industries network: the Netherlands-based suppliers have specialized in high-tech products made in small quantities. For members of Optence, Brainport Industries (Netherlands), Flanders Investment & Trade (Belgium) and Wetzlar Network there will be an exclusive “Meet & Match“ event: In a restricted group at the end of the first day of the fair, professional networkers will ensure fast and promising contact-making.

Supporting program with free seminars and keynote lectures

Other new partners are “Design to Business”, an initiative of the Offenbach Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and the UPOB Nanotechnology Competence Center from Braunschweig. The supporting program with free seminars and keynote lectures is first-rate, too. Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauernhansl from the Fraunhofer Institute of Production Technology and Automation IPA in Stuttgart will lead a seminar on the topic of Industry 4.0. Companies such as Leica Camera, Hexagon Metrology, Delta Optical Thin Film A/S from Denmark, UCM and IE Technology Engineering from Switzerland or Trioptics from Northern Germany will be giving their own corporate presentations.

The short courses of the competence network Optence on topics such as cleanliness on optics, optoelectronics, CCD and CMOS cameras, optics coating and polarization measurements will be equally informative. As part of the series “Industry Discussions for Central Hessen”, Wetzlar Network will be holding a half-day seminar on “Pioneering Technologies” the day before the fair.

Recruiting and Campus Area

Recruiting is a subject that is of equal concern to all high-tech industries and it plays a central role at the W3+ FAIR, too. Whether newcomers to the industry or experienced professionals: the fair is a marketplace for potential employees to meet their employers – and vice versa. The career platform Jobvector, which specializes in technical professions, will again be at the fair as an exclusive partner. There will be a special Recruiting Area where job seekers and companies can get individual advice from Jobvector. The University of Applied Sciences for Central Hessen (THM) will present projects of its own in the Campus Area and support the Pupils and Students Day of the W3+ FAIR.

“Each and all of these offers make the fair a hot spot for exhibitors and visitors alike,“ says Jörg Brück. Each individual visitor makes a valuable contribution to the discussion – and is able to derive benefits for himself.” One thing is certain: the W3+ FAIR should not be missed – and it’s wise to save the date of next year’s fair, too.




Rittal Arena Wetzlar



Jörg Brück
Project Director
Phone +49 151 40747979

Ralf Niggemann
Manager Wetzlar Network
Phone + 49 6441 998042


Additional Information: