ZEISS Innovation Hub at KIT

ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT

Transposing research of today into applications of tomorrow. Together.

The Innovation Hub in Karlsruhe thrives on the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of its residents: nascent start-ups and established players. ZEISS shares the vision of shaping markets through technology-inspired innovation and the approach of working closely with partners to translate today’s research into tomorrow’s applications.

The focus is on three areas, on which work is being done with more than 30 partners. Together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the team conducts research projects, supervises theses, offers lectures, and operates a Makerspace.

The three fields of innovation

  • Nano micro photonics

    Integrated photonics and miniaturized sensors

    Micro- and nanofabrication enables the realization of many electronic and photonic components on a single chip or compact module. This not only reduces the size, cost and energy consumption of the systems, but also enables new functions that cannot be realized with discrete components. At the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT, we are exploring the possibilities of this integrated optoelectronic approach, e.g. for compact sensor systems.

    Which areas are we contributing to?

    • PIC-based sensors
    • Optoelectronic distance sensor technology
    • Spectroscopy solutions
    • Cavity metrology

    Which technologies are we using and developing?

    • Integrated photonics and electronics
    • Optoelectronic signal processing
    • 3D microprinting

    Past and ongoing projects

    • Frequency-based photonic sensors
    • Multichannel spectroscopy
  • Sustainability & Circular Economy

    Sustainability & Circular Economy

    The future will not be livable unless we change the way we consume resources. We are working on intelligent sensor systems that will enable circular economy in the future.

    What areas are we contributing to?

    • Re-manufacturing solutions for automatic disassembly, inspection and reprocessing
    • Solutions for material characterization and waste sorting

    Which technologies are we using and developing?

    • Multi-sensor detection (spectroscopy, camera vision, and chemical tracing)
    • Intelligent process automation

    Past and ongoing projects

    • Sorting of separated polymer waste for high-purity recyclates
    • Detection of unwanted materials (e.g. flame retardants in electrical scrap)
    • Recycling of EV batteries
    • Sustainable forestry
  • Zeiss Kinveo 900

    Medical robotics and assistance systems

    Inspired by the needs of surgeons – which have so far been inadequately met – the medical robotics team of the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT is developing assistance functions and systems, especially for ophthalmology. These systems improve perception and precision during challenging surgical maneuvers, provide greater comfort and control during every procedure, and improve safety and refractive outcomes for patients. A strong network of clinical and academic partners supports us in exploring this new era of surgery.

    What areas are we contributing to?

    • Computer- and robot-assisted surgery
    • Smart surgical tools

    Which technologies are we using and developing?

    • Computer vision and machine learning
    • Real-time scene recognition
    • Digital eye twin
    • Bio-mechanical tissue modeling
    • High-precision robot

    Past and ongoing projects

    • Imitation learning and reinforcement learning for robotic path planning
    • Sensor technology and algorithms for the accurate geometric reconstruction of the eye's anterior segment
    • Machine learning for tissue segmentation
    • New robot-assisted surgical techniques for reducing tissue stress and trauma
Two people are working in the Makerspace sitting at a desk using a laptop and a 3D printer.

Welcome to Makerspace

Tools for every purpose

Are you wanting to implement new projects, but are lacking the right tools? Benefit from the large selection of professional tools from ZEISS, such as:

  • Laser cutter (Lotus Laser System Blu125 – cuts wood up to 12 mm and engraves metal)
  • SLA printer (formlabs 3+ – prints very small polymer parts with high resolution)
  • FFF printer (MakerBot Replicator+ – for rapid prototyping of polymer parts)
  • Soldering station and various power tools.

Before starting, you will receive a general introduction to the Makerspace. Please contact us at makerspacekit@zeiss.com.

Promoting a culture of exploration

Emmanuel Witzthum from Israel (https://www.witzthum.org) is a composer and artistic director of creative digital experiences. In autumn 2021, he was invited to the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT as a "Creative Resident". During the residency, he accompanied ZEISS teams in the development, presentation and negotiation of ideas and projects. The idea was to support the exploratory mindset and culture within the Innovation Hub. After his residency, we reversed the process: this time Emmanuel took innovation processes he had experienced during his time at ZEISS and created a piece of music using the techniques of exploration as a framework. This piece was premiered in November 2022 by the world-renowned Ensemble Modern
(https://www.ensemble-modern.com/de) at the ZKM in Karlsruhe (https://zkm.de/de).

All under one roof

The ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT is designed as a shared location for academic research, start-ups and industry. From the bottom floor to the top floor, it houses, among others, the 3D printing specialist Nanoscribe, the KIT high-tech incubator, which is,in turn, home to numerous start-ups and the ZEISS Innovation Team.

Innovation Hub KIT

Visiting the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT

ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 6
76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany.

ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT


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