Partner Summit & Conference

Surgery meets Automation 

Partner Summit & Conference

Where: ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT
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Event details

Be part of the "Surgery meets Automation" Conference 2023

In recent years, the discourse around automation have grown in many different research areas and in the public sphere. This field generates interest that goes beyond technology and science. It is prompting discussions about the implications of automation not only in terms of what it can do or help us to achieve, but also its potential impact on society.
Among others, automation has the potential to revolutionize surgeries, supporting surgeons and eventually improving the patient outcome. Yet, we are confronted with the question of how far we can automate surgeries, from a technical perspective, or more importantly how far we, as society, can accept its automation.

On December 5th, the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT will become a stage where experts in the field of automation, partners and ZEISS employees will gather to take a look into the future of automation and discuss its critical aspects from different perspectives.
The event will represent a unique experience that includes both keynote speakers in the field of technology and in-depth discussions involving professionals from other fields such as philosophy, psychology, and sociology.
The conference will be opened with a keynote talk by Dr. Michael Bolle, Chairman of the Shareholder Council of the Carl Zeiss Foundation, followed by a dinner on December 4th at the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT.
Don’t miss out this opportunity to learn, discuss and network on the future of automation!

Event Details & Agenda

The conference opening takes place in the evening of December 4th, followed by a full conference day on December 5th. The afternoon of December 4th will be dedicated to workshops with our partners, which receive a separate invitation.

4 December

Partner Summit & Conference Opening

Workshops with partners (on separate invitation)

Welcome and introduction to the conference

Keynote by Dr. Michael Bolle

An artist view on "Surgery meets Automation"



5 December

Full Day Conference

Registration & welcome coffee

Talk 1:
Motivation for automation in surgery - Dr. med. Tim Schultz
Talk 2: Industrial example: outside ZEISS - Dr. Rebecca Fahrig
Talk 3: Automation beyond MED: automotive – Ulf Wilhelm

Coffee Break

Talk 4: Automation in MED: how would the world look like in 20 years? - Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Stallkamp

Panel discussion


Talk 5: Regulatory - Dr. Gregor Stobrawa

Interactive session

Talk 6: Would society accept autonomy? A robotics perspective - Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tamim Asfour
Talk 7: Designing for successful interaction between human and machine in the age of automation- Niels Clausen-Stuck

Coffee break

Panel discussion: autonomy and surgery in the future

Closing remarks



Dr. Michael Bolle
Dr. Michael Bolle Chairman of the Shareholder Council, Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung

Dr. Michael Bolle has PhD in engineering and has held executive positions at Bosch since 1992 – except for a break from 1999 through 2002 to establish a high-tech startup. Most recently he was a Member of the Management Board of Robert Bosch GmbH, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and Chief Digital Officer (CDO). During his time at Bosch, Dr. Bolle was the driving force behind the creation of the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence and helped to link up the Internet of Things with artificial intelligence (AIoT). As Chairman of the Shareholder Council of the Carl-Zeiss Foundation since January 2022, he acts as a link between the foundation and foundation companies Carl Zeiss AG & SCHOTT AG and represents the economic interests of the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung towards the foundation companies. Michael Bolle has a strong interest in innovation and technologies and therefore contributed for several years to the field of quantum technologies. He currently serves as a speaker on the program committee of quantum systems of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Stallkamp
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Stallkamp Managing Director of the Mannheim Institute for Intelligent Systems in Medicine (MIISM) and Head of the Department for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology

Prof. Dr. Ing. Jan Stallkamp studied mechanical engineering at the Rheinisch-Westfälische-Technische-Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen, majoring in aerospace engineering. After graduating, he worked as a research assistant in the field of medical technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) in Stuttgart. In 2005, he received his doctorate from the University of Stuttgart and became a head of department at the IPA. From 2011, he built up the Fraunhofer Project Group for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology (PAMB) on the Campus of the University Hospital in Mannheim and took over its management. In 2014, he accepted the appointment to the professorship for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology at the Mannheim Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg (MedMa). 2019 he switched completely to the MedMa. Today, he is managing director of the Mannheim Institute for Intelligent Systems in Medicine MIiSM at the Mannheim Medical Faculty and heads the department Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology. His main field of research is the automation of diagnostic and therapeutic processes, with a focus on the development of closed-loop systems for medical assistance.


Mannheim Institute for Intelligent Systems in Medicine

Emanuel Gollob
Emanuel Gollob Artist and Researcher at Creative Robotics, University of Arts Linz

Emanuel Gollob investigates today’s relations between humans, artificial intelligence and robots with the goal of making alternative bodily experienceable. In parallel, his work traces the change in human perception in connection to digitalization. Gollob graduated from the University of Applied Arts Vienna with a diploma in Design Investigation. From 2020 to 2021, he was an artist in residence at MindSpaces, an EU research project in the STARTS initiative framework. Since 2020, he has been a PhD candidate and researcher at the University of Arts Linz. In 2023, he was a guest artist at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Subsequently, he became a European Media Art Plattform residence artist at the WRO Art Center. Gollob’s work has recently been exhibited in various international institutions, including Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building, Washington DC (2021); Science Gallery Melbourne (2021); Art Science Museum Singapore (2022) and HEK Basel (2023), among others.




Emmanuel Witzthum
Emmanuel Witzthum Head of creative development at Jerusalem Season of Culture, curator of the Creative resident program at the Zeiss Innovation Hub at KIT. Composer and multimedia artist

Emmanuel is a musician and artistic director, currently serving as Head of Creative Development for the Jerusalem Season of Culture and as curator of the "Creative Resident" program at the Zeiss Innovation Hub in Karlsruhe. He has created artistic collaborations with partners such as Ensemble Modern; IRCAM; Google; The ZKM; The Guggenheim; The Alvin Ailey Dance Company; Enjoy Jazz; BUGA 23; The Jewish Museum, Berlin and The Pacific North Western Ballet amongst others. He has performed as violist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in NYC, The Berlin Staatskapelle, Ensemble Intercontemporain amongst others in Asia, the USA, Europe and Israel. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon under Pierre Boulez with Ensemble Intercontemporain.




Niels Clausen Stuck
Niels Clausen Stuck Principal Expert – Design Led Innovation, Design Director at ZEISS Digital Partners

Niels is a seasoned Design Thinking, User-Centered Design, and UI/UX expert at the ZEISS Digital Partners, which he joined in 2017. His extensive experience includes design strategy roles at premier design agencies such as IDEO, Frog, Designit, and Designaffairs, contributing to a diverse international portfolio in the US, UK, Denmark, Germany, and China. His work in healthcare, consumer electronics, and the automotive industry has garnered international acclaim. Harnessing over twenty years of expertise, Niels adeptly merges design thinking with user-centric research to craft innovative solutions for multifaceted business obstacles. His portfolio showcases his ability to translate complex requirements into accessible and effective designs and user and customer experiences. Recent projects focus on cohesive design system frameworks, elevating the strategic role of design within the organization, and integrating Generative AI in UI/UX and design process. Niels holds an MA in Visual Communication/Digital Design from 1994 to 2000 at Danmarks Designskole, Copenhagen.


Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Tim Schultz
Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Tim Schultz Ophthalmology specialist, Ruhr University Eye Hospital Bochum

Tim Schultz, MD, FEBO, PhD, is a German ophthalmologist at the Ruhr University Eye Hospital in Bochum. His main research focus is laser-assisted surgery. At the very beging of his career, he was already fascinated by the magic of lasers at the Philips University Marburg, seeing Professor Sekundo, performing a SMILE procedure. Under the guidance of Professor HB Dick, Dr. Schulz investigated many important aspects in femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. Among other things, an inflammatory response to the laser was found by Dr. Schulz and a medical prevention regime was developed. Furthermore, he is Co-Author with Professor Dick and Ronald Gerste of the book “Femtosecond Laser Surgery in Ophthalmology” (Thieme). The book is available in English, Portuguese and Chinese.



Dr. Rebecca Fahrig Vice President of Innovation for Business Area Advanced Therapies, Siemens Healthineers
Dr. Gregor Stobrawa R&D Program Manger Femto Lasers, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
Ulf Wilhelm Bosch Global Software Technologies
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tamim Asfour Full professor at the Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Chair of Humanoid Robotics Systems, Head of the High Performance Humanoid Technologies Lab.
Peter Gerdemann Moderator

Location & Direction

How to get to ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT

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


  • The afternoon of December 4th is reserved for our partners on invitation. 
    Afterwards you are invited to the conference “Surgery meets Automation” in the evening of December 4th and full day of December 5th. We are excited to catch up with you!

  • You are warmly invited to join us for a two-day conference at the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT on December 4th (evening) and December 5th (full day). We are looking forward to getting to know you!

  • The conference will be held in English.

  • No, the event is free of charge.

  • Depending on how close to the event location you would like to stay, we can recommend the following hotels:

  • In case you are staying in Karlsruhe city, we recommend taking public transport which includes tram and bus to the stop "KIT-Campus Nord Südtor". Alternative options are the KIT shuttle or a taxi.

    For Monday evening we will try to organize car pools among the participants who have arrived by car.


Partner Summit 2022

  • One of last years highlights was the collaboration with Emmanuel Witzthum, a composer and artistic director of creative digital experiences.