Scientists and company representatives from Wetzlar on their visit to the ELI Beamlines Institute in Prague. (Images: Michael Vich/ELI Beamlines and Ralf A. Niggemann)
Scientists and company representatives from Wetzlar on their visit to the ELI Beamlines Institute in Prague. (Images: Michael Vich/ELI Beamlines and Ralf A. Niggemann)

Wetzlar Network & ELI-Beamlines

Research Cooperation Mission

ELI Beamlines in Prague is an ideal cooperation partner for many companies in the Wetzlar region, as a group of delegates saw for themselves on a visit at the end of May.

Research needs partners – particularly when it involves highly complex systems where optics, mechanics, electronics and laser technology interact to deliver top performance. These partners are hard to find. There are a large number of optics, electronics and mechanics specialists in the Wetzlar region, but laser technology partners are further afield. The best place to look is Dolní Brežany near Prague, where the ELI Beamlines Institute is building one of the largest facilities for application-oriented laser research. Currently, the technical infrastructure is being set up. The facility will be ready for use from spring 2019.

Delegates from Wetzlar were recently able to convince themselves of the extraordinary potential offered by an intensive research cooperation with the ELI Beamlines Institute. In the early morning of May 25th, the visitors were welcomed by Dr. Georg Korn, Head of the Department of Experimental Programs at the Prague Institute. As well as company representatives already involved in concrete R&D cooperation projects, the Wetzlar delegation included experts interested in seeing the facility. Jean-Michel Asfour from Dioptic in Weinheim and his company are participating in the development of a universal measuring instrument that is to be realized jointly with the ELI Beamlines Institute. Oliver Brückmann and Tim Stroh from Brückmann Elektronik in Lahnau, on the other hand, are cooperating with the Prague Institute in the research for a new x-ray camera. All three company representatives took the opportunity to inspect the setting up of the research infrastructure for their projects at the ELI Beamlines Institute.

Stefan Borneis from the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, which is supporting the ELI project in an advisory capacity, shared ideas and experince with Prof. Markus Degünther, endowed professor for Optics and Optic Technologies at the University of Applied Sciences for Central Hessen (THM). Thorsten Kortemeier, Managing Director of MINOX, was impressed by the opportunities the cooperation creates for Wetzlar Network and the region’s industries. The joint development projects themselves are being sponsored within the framework of the “Internationalization of Leading-Edge Clusters” program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with the aim of enabling SMEs to successfully engage in research and development projects at international level.

For Ralf Niggemann, Manager of Wetzlar Network, and executive board member Noack, the trip was a key step in the right direction. “In the last few months we have invested heavily in getting Wetzlar companies interested in the possibility of R&D cooperations. At the ELI Beamlines Institute the delegates obtained a first-hand impression of the technological opportunities and cooperation models. They were all extremely impressed – both in professional and in personal terms. And a great amount was done to pave the way for the next steps to an effective cooperation.”


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