Press Release

Groundbreaking for the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT

6 April 2018

  • The ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT is a new ZEISS site at one of the most innovative locations in Germany
  • A new space for carve-outs and greater collaboration between business and academia
  • 12,000 m2 of flexible space thanks to an investment of €30 million
Oberkochen/Karlsruhe, Germany | 06 April 2018 | Corporate News

ZEISS held a groundbreaking ceremony today on the north campus of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to launch the construction of a new site in Germany. As announced in October 2017, this will be a shared innovation building for KIT and its carve-out Nanoscribe – the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT.

Alongside the company and KIT, both partners plan to let current and future start-ups and carve-outs use the space. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science Theresia Bauer, KIT President Professor Holger Hanselka, and President and CEO of the ZEISS Group, Professor Michael Kaschke.

  • Groundbreaking for Innovation Hub

    Taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT: Bernd Stober, Mayor of Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen; Professor Dr. Thomas Hirth, Vice President for Innovation and International KIT; Prof. Michael Kaschke, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG; Minister for Science Theresia Bauer; Prof. Holger Hanselka, KIR President; Dr. Ulrich Simon, Corporate Research & Technology at Carl Zeiss AG; Dr. Michael Thiel, Member of the Board of Nanoscribe GmbH (left to right).

Closer partnership at one of Germany’s most innovative sites

ZEISS, the global technology and innovation leader in the optical and optoelectronic industry, will move into the new building. Its new site is located next door to prestigious institutes for cutting-edge technology and high-tech start-ups.

Professor Kaschke had this to say: “We aim to use the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT to expand our more than ten-year partnership with KIT and benefit from the potential of one of Germany’s most innovative sites, here on the north campus. We want to offer creative, bright technologically minded graduates room to develop their ideas and projects and take advantage of career prospects at ZEISS.”

The space to turn innovative ideas into market-ready products

At the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT, the research university in the Helmholtz Association, whose third task – after research and teaching – is innovation, the university has the chance to rent new spaces for its own carve-outs and innovation activities and offer them long-term prospects at the site.

“The ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT bolsters innovation at KIT and intensifies close collaboration with the business world. The Hub offers our carve-outs the space to quickly turn their innovative ideas and current research findings into market-ready products that benefit both society and businesses. At the same time, it offers our graduates exciting prospects,” says KIT President Professor Hanselka. “The strategic partnership between ZEISS and KIT is the expansion of a longstanding collaboration. The ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT enables us to achieve a milestone from which both partners and the Baden-Württemberg site will benefit over the long term.”

Minister Theresia Bauer added: “This is a clear signal for the transfer of knowledge and technology in Baden-Württemberg – ZEISS and KIT are addressing the topics of technology transfer and start-up culture. The Karlsruhe region, and KIT in particular, is an excellent site for the new Innovation Hub: with its special start-up culture, established collaborations with the relevant partners in this field, and innovation as a third pillar alongside research and teaching. This is a place where not only keen founders receive support, but also where curious individuals are encouraged to try to make it on their own.”

One of the enterprises that will move into the building is Nanoscribe, a company that focuses on 3D printing and microfabrication. Nanoscribe is a KIT carve-out that was established in 2007. ZEISS was one of its stakeholders virtually from the very beginning. The company will thus be getting the space it so urgently needs for its further expansion.

Plenty of room for maneuver in the resource-conserving new building

The building will cover a total of 12,000 m2 that can be used in many ways – as office space, meeting areas, labs and production facilities. ZEISS is investing approximately €30 million and shall assume the construction and operating costs. While planning the new building, conserving resources was a major consideration.
The new site near Karlsruhe is just one in a series of projects at sites including the USA, the company HQ in Oberkochen and its founding site in Jena. The projects are designed to ensure growth at ZEISS and its innovation and digitalization sites, as well as in emerging markets.

Further information

  • Handover of a time capsule
Press contact Jörg Nitschke

Head of Corporate Brand, Communications and Public Affairs


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.

In fiscal year 2016/17 the company generated revenue approximating €5.3 billion with around 27,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

Further information at



KIT, “the Research University in the Helmholtz Association,” creates and imparts knowledge for society and the environment. The aim is to make major contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, transportation and information. Approximately 9,300 employees are working towards achieving this, covering a broad disciplinary basis in the natural sciences, engineering, business, social sciences and the humanities. KIT gets its 26,000 students ready to assume important responsibilities in society, science and economics through research-oriented teaching. The innovative activities happening at KIT bridge the gap between knowledge and its application in a way that benefits society, enables economic prosperity and the maintenance of the natural environment.

Press photos

  • Time capsule

    File size: 2 MB
  • groundbreaking ceremony for the ZEISS Innovation Hub

    File size: 3 MB

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