From basic research to application – the diversity of research in the JenaVersum.
Research and Innovation
Remarkable studies, innovative technologies and literally illuminating theses – research has a long tradition in Jena.
From the University’s founding in 1558, the time of the great poets and thinkers – Goethe, Schiller, Fichte, Hegel, the Humboldts and countless other luminaries – in the 18th/19th centuries, or the momentous years between the institute’s founding and the Weimar Republic, which featured the ‘German Darwin’ Ernst Haeckel, the inventor of the electroencephalogram Hans Berger, the mathematician Gottlob Frege, and the philosopher Rudolf Eucken.
The research story best known today is surely one that’s now over 150 years old and that involves the trio of Ernst Abbe, Carl Zeiss and Otto Schott. The story exemplifies the close interlinking of research and entrepreneurship. Solid experience in the construction of scientific microscopes laid the foundation for the ZEISS, Jenoptik and Schott corporations that still operate successfully today.
Future & Innovation
As a European hub for research and education in optics and photonics, Jena produces innovative strategies and new light-based technologies. Applied and basic research also come together at the highest level in areas such as infection and ageing research, energy, environment, security, communications and information technology and the broad fields of life sciences and data science. We carry out valuable research into the issues affecting our lives for the benefit of society and every individual within it.
Today, Jena’s research landscape is tremendously wide-ranging and aligned to the future: the city covers a wide spectrum of scientific activity at its two universities, the university hospital, 12 extramural research institutions, the ’Balance of the Microverse’ Cluster of Excellence and various research-based foundations and businesses.
The close interlinking of university, extramural research institutions and local industry serves as a basis for interdisciplinary research and end-to-end solutions.
Some time ago
It’s one of the Jena research stories that made history. In 1846, the precision engineer Carl Zeiss opened a special workshop in Jena for the construction of high-performance microscopes. At this point in history, it still seemed unthinkable that the curvature of a lens could be precalculated scientifically and precisely. It was only by collaborating with the young physicist Ernst Abbe that, a decade later, he succeeded in producing the first range of ‘Professor Abbe’s theoretically precalculated microscope lenses’. One problem remained, however: the poor quality of the glass used to make the lenses. This is where the third researcher entered the frame. Otto Schott experimented continually with other raw material glass compounds until he ultimately developed a completely new type of glass, borosilicate glass. From that point on, scientists had access to a world rich in detail, giving them a new perspective on people and the environment.
Research into the latest microscope technology in Jena continues to break new ground today. The CRIMSON EU research project, for instance, has made it possible to detect cancer at the cellular level thanks to the use of laser technology and artificial intelligence.
It is collaborative ventures like these that establish Jena’s reputation as a high-tech site. They have given rise to new networks and topics that smooth the way for multilateral research collaboration in the JenaVersum.
Portraits of our research
Joint research to achieve greater goals
All researchers have their own story to tell. Get to know interesting people from the JenaVersum research sphere!
The people in the JenaVersum are as diverse as the research topics. They research the fundamental questions our world has to offer, aided by their curiosity, imagination and creativity. In so doing, the approximately 4,500 scientists in Jena make a key contribution to the advancement of our society. We value and encourage this variety, since it forms the basis of an inquiring mind and innovation. This is why we bring together those with innovative research ideas – whether that’s within Jena’s rich research setting or beyond it. We initiate discourses and prepare the ground for interdisciplinary exchange within the field of research and development.
Places of support, exchange and cooperation.
Get an overview of the diversity of Jena’s research institutions.
Jena can boast the highest concentration of research institutions in Germany relative to its population and offers a powerful infrastructure for research and development. In total, this small city is home to 12 extramural research institutions. The majority of these are located at the science and research site known as the Beutenberg Campus.
The institutions there emphasise their interdisciplinary approach with the slogan ’where the life sciences meet physics’. As an example, the successful collaboration between Jena’s research institutions has produced the ’Balance of the Microverse’ Cluster of Excellence – a research cluster specifically dedicated to future environmental topics in the field of microorganisms.
Here, the strengths of the university profile lines of LIFE and LIGHT are combined with the university hospital and eight extramural research institutes. The foundation for the cluster concept is the successful Excellence Graduate School, the Jena School for Microbial Communication. Four collaborative research centres, other coordinated research programmes and regional industry partners consolidate the Microverse cluster.
Collaboration between research institutions is not just an option within the JenaVersum. Rather, it forms a strategic component for utilising the entire spectrum of research expertise and thereby ultimately advancing one’s own work as well. Scientific exchange benefits from top-notch, state-of-the-art equipment, powerful on-site infrastructure, close connections and a long tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration. Ideal prerequisites, therefore, for shaping our future habitat for the long term.
Be JenaVersum – Your idea for a joint project!
Vision, courage and enthusiasm – these are the pillars the JenaVersum network is built on. We know that research is always a team effort.
We also know that interaction and collaboration form the basis for outstanding research findings and innovative developments. And we know that we can accomplish more together.
Stakeholders from the scientific community come together with partners from the business and urban spheres to take the tradition of collaboration to new heights. The JenaVersum is a place for existing collaborations to be supported and expanded in many different ways. New initiatives and projects round off the profile of this innovative research environment.
If you would like to find out more, you are warmly invited to join and become active in the JenaVersum network at any time.
Life in Jena
Young, innovative, open-minded – that is Jena.
This is where the train stops in a verdant paradise and where close bonds are formed between research, science and research-related companies. It’s not just the gleaming, 150-metre-tall Jena Tower in the centre of the city that offers an impressive outlook.
People come here from all over the world to study, work and carry out research. Jena’s two universities, one university hospital, countless research institutes and research companies make it an ideal place to live and work, with a host of options for discussion and collaboration. Students, graduates and young researchers fuel growth in a city that has learned to adapt and, at the same time, to stay true to itself.