Optics Valley - Germany's Innovation Centers
Lasers, Imaging and Optics
They call it Optics Valley, the region around Jena, Germany in the eastern part of the country. It's the headquarters for Jenoptik, a multinational supplier of optical products, lasers and imaging equipment. It's disruptive new technology that the government of Angela Merkel is encouraging particularly in the eastern region of Germany.
Eastern versus Western Germany
The eastern region of Germany has received $2 Trillion in cash infusions over the past three decades to stimulate its economic base. Still, it lags in economic output per capita by three-quarters when compared to the western region of Germany.
New, Silicon Valley
New disruptive technologies like those being produced by Jenoptik appear to be the answer. In the case of Jenoptik the local university is a key source of talent. Jena has 110,000 residents; 22,000 of which are students. This is a region of high productivity and innovation, a Silicon Valley on a smaller scale.
The German government is pushing and developing high tech innovation hubs in cities like Berlin, Potsdam, Leipzig, Dresden and Jena. Jena is innovating not only laser and optical devices but also medical devices.