Photonics is a strongly growing sector of the economy and a major research area in Europe. In Thuringia and in particular in Jena, the scientific and industrial location is shaped by universities, research institutes and companies in the field of optics and photonics. While the number of young, well-trained female graduates is high, women who hold a leading position in academia and high-tech industry are still underrepresented.
Leibniz-IPHT has been a member in Section D (mathematics and the natural and engineering sciences) of the Leibniz Association since January 1, 2014. As part of the research alliance "Leibniz health technologies", Leibniz-IPHT collaborates with 15 other institutes in the Leibniz Association on the research of innovative and gentle processes in the early recognition of diseases and improved individual treatment methods for patients. Leibniz-IPHT has held the chair in the network since mid-2014.
The Leibniz Association combines 91 independent research institutes. Their focus ranges from the natural, engineering, and environmental sciences to the humanities and the business, space, and social sciences. The Leibniz institutes focus on relevant social, economic, and ecological issues. They perform knowledge-oriented and applied research (also among the cross-disciplinary Leibniz research alliances), are or support scientific infrastructures, and offer research-based services.
The Leibniz Association mainly focuses on knowledge transfer, especially with the Leibniz research museums. It advises and informs those in politics, science, industry, and the general public. The Leibniz institutes collaborate closely with universities (e.g., as part of the Leibniz scientific campuses), industry, and other domestic and foreign partners. They are subject to a transparent and independent evaluation procedure. Due to their national importance, the institutes of the Leibniz Association are supported jointly through federal and state funding. The Leibniz institutes employ approximately 18,600 people, 9,500 people of which are research scientists. The total budget of the institutes is more than 1.7 billion euros.