Photonics Cluster on RWTH Aachen Campus opens

The International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16, organized by Fraunhofer ILT, welcomed more than 500 laser technology experts and 100 scientists, business leaders and politicians to the Campus Talk during the evening event. These guests saw as property developers Landmarken AG and KPF architects officially handed Fraunhofer ILT the keys to the new Photonics Cluster building. Following the “Photonics Cluster – Tailored Light” talk, guests had the opportunity to visit the new building and take a look at its research facilities and offices.

The discussion panel comprised Annekathrin Grehling, Aachen’s city manager; Prof. Ernst Schmachtenberg, Rector, RWTH Aachen; Norbert Hermanns, CEO Landmarken AG; Prof. Reinhart Poprawe, Director of the Photonics Cluster and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT; Jens Hardvendel, a Director with architects KPF; and Ingomar Kelbassa, Department Manager, Siemens AG. The focus of the discussion was on the building’s technical research applications and structural dimensions. Grehling and Schmachtenberg stressed how Aachen is world renowned for its multi-award-winning laser technology for manufacturing industries.

More than 690 members of the laser community converge on Aachen for the biennial AKL’16 Eurogress. At this year’s event, the 11th time AKL has been held, nearly 80 experts from laser manufacturers spoke to experienced users as well as newcomers to laser technology about current practices and the scientific community’s latest research findings. Held at Europe’s largest laser park at Fraunhofer ILT, guests could choose from more than 90 live laser-technology demonstrations. The technology conference also sponsored an exhibit of 52 well-known companies in the laser technology field. Here, participants enjoyed the chance to make new contacts or strengthen existing ones by discussing innovations in laser technology, processes and laser products in greater depth.

“With the addition of the Photonics Cluster on RWTH Aachen Campus, our international reputation for laser technology will expand even further,” said Prof. Reinhart Poprawe, Director of the Photonics Cluster. “Now the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and RWTH institutes can work together with companies under one roof to explore the future of lasers and their versatile applications.”

“The cluster principle on RWTH Aachen Campus, which allows the economic and the scientific communities to support one another, is reflected in the architecture as well,” said Landmarken AG CEO Norbert Hermanns, referring to the well-lit atrium and many meeting spaces of the newly inaugurated building. Landmarken AG is involved in the project’s developer, ante4C GmbH. Hermanns added: “We have believed in the campus project from the start, and we will remain closely connected to it.”

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