OPTICUM research building: foundation stone laid

© Sören Pinsdorf/LUH
Lord Mayor Belit Onay, Science Minister Falko Mohrs, PhoenixD spokesperson Prof. Dr. Uwe Morgner and University President Prof. Dr. Volker Epping (from left) fill the time capsule that will be walled in at the foundation stone laying ceremony.

Around 120 researchers will work on interdisciplinary optics research and optics production at one location

The best conditions for research into one of the critical technologies of the 21st century: the new OPTICUM research building of Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) is being built in the Hannover-Marienwerder Science Park. From 2026, more than 100 researchers will work together on high-performance optics for many different areas of application. Falko Mohrs, Lower Saxony's Minister for Science and Culture, Belit Onay, Lord Mayor of the City of Hanover, Leibniz University's president Volker Epping and PhoenixD spokesperson Uwe Morgner laid the foundation stone for the four-storey building on Monday, April 15.

Optical technologies are one of the main areas of research at LUH. Laser technology is crucial. The PhoenixD Cluster of Excellence, for example, conducts top-level research into optical precision systems to make high-performance optics affordable. Many new application areas are emerging for optical technologies in medical technology, agriculture, mechanical engineering and automotive engineering. The new Optics Center will bring together LUH's currently dispersed activities in laser physics, production technology, materials development and computer science at a single location.

"Optical technologies make our digital everyday life possible. With the OPTICUM, the federal government, state and university are investing in a forward-looking, modern research building where scientists will redefine the design, manufacture and application of precision optics. We are thus expanding the appeal and relevance of our research far beyond the state's borders and strengthening basic research and the transfer to industry in equal measure," says Falko Mohrs, Lower Saxony's Minister for Science and Culture. "Cooperation across disciplines and close links with the PhoenixD Cluster of Excellence are already special features of optics research in Hanover. In future, they will be even more effective under the roof of the new research building."

Belit Onay, Lord Mayor of the City of Hanover, emphasizes: "As a flagship project, the OPTICUM has immense appeal for Hanover as a science and business location. It also shows that we can successfully establish forward-looking research institutions in Hanover with Leibniz Universität and thus further raise the Science Area 30 X profile as a science location. Optical technologies offer great potential solutions to the present and future challenges. Hannover is, therefore, ideally positioned for the future!"

"LUH is already demonstrating the importance of optical technologies with its research focus and its research school, which is comparable to a faculty. It is logical, and I am very pleased that a new research building is now underpinning this future-oriented topic and receiving scientific policy recognition and support," says Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, President of LUH.

Prof. Dr. Uwe Morgner, Director of the Institute of Quantum Optics and spokesperson for the PhoenixD Cluster of Excellence, explains: "On the new optics campus with the OPTICUM, the Laser Zentrum Hannover and the many small and large company settlements, we are creating first-class research conditions, maximum synergy and short distances. In the increasingly fierce competition for students and the world's best scientists, this makes us one of the most important photonics centres in Europe."

The building costs around 82 million euros and is being constructed in close collaboration with the general planner HENN Architekten Berlin; completion is planned for 2026. The federal government (a reasonable 25 million euros) and the state of Lower Saxony will bear the costs proportionately. The Leibniz Research School for Optics & Photonics (LSO), founded in the spring of 2020, will manage the OPTICUM. It is closely linked to the PhoenixD Cluster of Excellence. The four-storey building will have laboratories, offices and test halls. Marcus Fissan from HENN Architekten explains: "The rooms and open spaces essential for research, exchange and communication - the basis for innovation - are now being created on 4,000 square meters. Innovation that is of enormous importance to us all."

Around 120 physics, electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, chemistry and mathematics researchers will work together on precision optics under one roof. Areas of application include 3D imaging in medicine, applications of optical glass fibres, for example, in minimally invasive endoscopes, optical sensors in environmental analysis, laser production of high-precision components, innovative skin cancer scanners with laser technology and pesticide-free weed control in agriculture.

This film provides a vivid overview of the activities of LUH's Optical Technologies research focus:



Note to the editors:

For further information, please contact Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, Head of the Communications and Marketing Department and Press Officer at Leibniz Universität Hannover, on 0511 762-5342 or by e-mail at kommunikation@uni-hannover.de.


Source: LUH Press release from 04/15/2024