Brandt School Universität Erfurt

Course Visit to Jena's Optics Cluster

On Monday, June 19th, 9 students from Dr. Aragon’s course “Building Competitiveness at the Regional and National Level” had the opportunity to visit the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena. The institute has been at the forefront of research in the field of optical systems engineering and has gained prominence for the development of several projects, such as the MP3 compression algorithm. Their work has led to advancements in cellular camera, 3D printing, and satellite technology. The students met with Dr. Stefan Riehemann, the deputy head for the department of strategy and marketing, for a lively discussion on the history and development of the world-renown Thuringian applied science community, which includes: 69 institutes, a 2 bn. euro budget, and 24,000 employees!

Dr. Aragon’s course aims to provide students with an understanding of how to foster innovation and increase productivity through strategies that promote cooperation and competitiveness. One of the core concepts is to understand how regions can generate high wage sustainable jobs. During their visit topics such as how cooperation among the institute, private sector firms, universities and public institutions, contribute to the continued success of the cluster. Dr. Riehemann provided a glimpse into several cutting edge technologies currently under development and insight into some of the key challenges for future development, such as R&D for new products and services and the internationalization of the cluster.