Optical Technologies and Microsystems Technology – Future Key Technologies
Within the framework of the joint innovation strategy of the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg (innoBB), the multi-state cluster photonics was built, aiming to provide companies and research institutions access to resources, such as knowledge and capital, at both local and international level.
The two fields Optical Technologies and Microsystems Technology are pooled in the Cluster Photonics and are counted among the most significant key technologies of the 21st century. At the same time, both technology fields also on European level pertain to the five so called “Key Enabling Technologies“.
With their diverse range of competencies, the various companies and research institutions made the Berlin and Brandenburg region into one of the globally leading sites. Thereby, photonics and microsystems technology, (especially in their role) as cross-section between diverse technologies, are often the fundament for innovative products and services; e.g. in the fields of medicine or communication technology. In order to further promote these developments, six activity fields were identified:
- Laser Technology
- Lighting Technology
- Optics for Communication and Sensors
- Optical Analytics
- Biomedical and Ophthalmic Optics
- Microsystems Technology
Between Tradition & Modernity
Berlin Brandenburg based optical technologies have a long tradition, with roots going back to the 19th century, and today still represent a major industrial sector in the region. On the other hand, microsystems technology is a relatively young industry, that symbolically stands for requirements of the global competition in terms of innovative products: smaller, more efficient and at lower cost. Hence With the photonics cluster, Berlin-Brandenburg combines optical technologies and microsystems technology, i.e. tradition and modernity, and hence creates the foundation for a sustainable development of regional businesses and the creation of new jobs in this industry and its many applications.
Unique Selling Proposition in the Regional Competition
The Photonics Cluster in Berlin and Brandenburg is especially distinguished by the strong scientific basis and the high amount of specialized small and medium-sized companies with widely ranged know-how – a perfect basis for a mutual transfer between science and industry, and innovation driver for other branches. A very dynamic development makes the capital region into one of the worldwide leading industry site, which is underlined by the over the past 10 years newly created 4.000 industrial jobs, the annual average growth of about 8%, an export share of 68%, as well as a R&D share of 17% of the total turnover.
The innovative core of the cluster consists of 390 technology companies (298 in Berlin and 92 in Brandenburg), as well as of 10 universities and 26 extra-university research institutions, of which 11 are located in Brandenburg and 25 in Berlin. Thereby, in the capital region a total of around 16.600 people are occupied in photonics and microsystems technology – a record results on the international comparison.
The keen interest for optical technologies and microsystems technology “made in Berlin” expressed by international entrepreneurs and scientists is emerging to an increasing degree in events, projects and cooperation with the photonics cluster: as a showcase for the region the laser optics – International Trade Fair and Congress for Optical Technologies and Microsystems Technology – is organized every two years in Berlin and attracts a wide international audience from science and industry. Moreover, a significant step for supra-regional innovative capability of the capital region in the optics field is realized with the enhanced partnership between the two optics regions Berlin Brandenburg and Warsaw.