Optical and photonic technologies play a key role in addressing pressing issues of our time. Accompanying scientists in the implementation of their light-based research projects and supporting them in their transformation into marketable products is the goal of the Digital Innovation Hub Photonics (DIHP). On May 23, 2022, numerous teams presented their promising ideas to a jury of experts from industry and science at the DIHP Pitches 2022 in Jena. Among the winners of this year’s DIHP Pitches are also two teams from Leibniz IPHT.

Accelerating the implementation of innovative research ideas and paving the way for new developments to solve present and future challenges with the help of photonics is the focus of the DIHP. Twelve teams from around the world took the opportunity to present their approaches and projects in five-minute pitches at the fourth DIHP competition and show how this can be done successfully.

Among the winners of this year’s pitch are two teams from Leibniz IPHT:

The DeepEn team of Dr. Sergey Turtaev, Patrick Westermann, Dr. Jiri Hofbrucker and Dr. Hana Čižmárová from the Fiber Research and Technology Department of Leibniz IPHT is working on the future of neuroscience. An innovative and hair-thin endoscopy technology developed at the institute, which can be used to examine brain structures and thus even better investigate the causes of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, is to be transformed into a market-ready and user-friendly product. With the research budget gained in the form of professional support from photonics experts, the researchers will make the endoscopic system even more reliable and stable to further advance the final product as well as their spin-off from Leibniz IPHT.

The openUC2 team (You. See. Too) around Dr. Benedict Diederich and René Lachmann from the Microscopy Department will also benefit from this year’s participation in the DIHP Pitch. With the support of external partners as well as customer feedback, the Leibniz IPHT team will successfully further develop its idea of the UC2 modular microscope system, with which microscopes can be easily and cost-effectively tailored to the respective application by means of a 3D printer. The market-oriented mentoring should help the team to better focus on the global education market in the field of natural sciences, but also in the laboratory of cutting-edge research, by turning ideas into scalable instruments.

About DIHP

In order to help innovative ideas achieve a breakthrough, DIHP has been supporting researchers and people interested in starting a business with their research projects and project ideas since 2019. Since 2022, the DIHP consortium consists of the following institutions: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, Abbe Center of Photonics (ACP), Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology Hans Knöll Institute (Leibniz HKI), Helmholtz Institute Jena (HI-J) and the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies (Leibniz IPHT).

In the picture:
The DeepEn team, along with four other winners in the DIHP Pitch 2022, was one of the prizewinners to secure a research budget for its further work
from left to right: Patrick Westermann, Dr. Hana Čižmárová, Dr. Sergey Turtaev, Dr. Jiri Hofbrucker