ZEISS Innovation Hub at KIT

ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT

Turning today’s research into tomorrow’s applications. 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.

  • Inspired by surgeons’ underserved needs, the medical robotics team at ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT develops assistance functions and systems, particularly for ophthalmology. These systems potentially provide one or more of the following benefits:

    • Enhanced perception and precision
    • Increased comfort and control
    • Improved safety
    • Better outcomes for patients

    A strong network of clinical and academic partners supports us in exploring this new era of surgery.

    Medical robotics and assistance systems

    To which areas are we contributing?

    • Computer and robot assisted surgery
    • Smart surgical tools

    What technologies are we leveraging and developing?

    • Computer Vision and Machine Learning
    • Real-time scene understanding
    • Biomechanical tissue modelling
    • High-precision tissue manipulation

    Exemplary projects

    • Imitation learning and reinforcement learning for robot trajectory generation
    • Sensing concepts and algorithms for the geometrically accurate reconstruction of geometries in the anterior and posterior segments of the eye
    • Machine learning for tissue segmentation
    • New robotic surgery techniques to reduce tissue stress and trauma
  • 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.

    Integrated photonics and miniaturized sensors

    To which areas are we contributing?

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

    What 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
  • 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.

    Sustainability & Circular Economy

    What areas are we contributing to?

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

    What 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
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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