Photonics and Microsystem Technologies

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Gerrit Rössler

Head of Unit


Berlin Partner for Business und Technology
Fasanenstraße 85
10623 Berlin

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Optik und Mikrosystemtechnik
Optik und Mikrosystemtechnik © Berlin Partner GmbH/Schlovien

Innovation area overview: Photonics and Microsystems Technologies

Photonics have had a long tradition in Berlin. The German capital has become known as “City of Lights“. Today, optics, photonics and microsystems technologies from Berlin-Brandenburg are key technologies of the 21st century and represent innovation and growth. Particularly the diversified scientific excellence in this field makes the capital region a globally attractive high-tech location.

Proximity and the Combined Power of the Cluster as Location Advantages

Optics, photonics and microsystem technologies in Berlin-Brandenburg are particularly characterized by a high density and diversification of sector players. This provides ideal conditions for the exchange between science and industry, being the driving force for innovations in other sectors at the same time. The proximity to each other helps players to get the developments in both fields ready for the marketplace more quickly.

One important partner for researchers and companies in the fields of photonics and microsystems technologies is the cluster Photonics Berlin-Brandenburg. It consists of the three partners Berlin Partner for Business and Technology,Optec-Berlin-Brandenburg (OpTecBB) as well as the Brandenburg Economic Development Board ZAB and pursues the goal of facilitating the access to resources such as knowledge and assets for companies and research facilities.

The international comparison shows that the capital region has a very dynamic development and is one of the leading locations of photonics:

  • more than 4,000 new highly qualified jobs in science and industry were created in the past ten years
  • the turnovers of the companies have increased by an annual average of 7%
  • export ratio of the total revenue: 68%
  • share of R&D expenditure measured by the total revenue: 17%

Versatile in Application

With a diverse range of skills, photonics and microsystems technologies serve as an interface between different types of technology and are often the basis for innovative products and services in such fields as medicine, biotechnology or information and communications technology. Berlin gives particular support to national and international flagship projects that are expected to give potential boosts to the regional economy at some point in the future. Six so-called focal areas have been identified to promote these developments:

  • Biomedical optics and ophthalmic optics
  • Laser technology
  • Lighting
  • Microsystems technologies
  • Optics for communication and sensors
  • Optical analysis