Press Release

ZEISS is playing an active role in the global open source community

In its position as an enabler of digitalization and a global technology leader, ZEISS funds various open source projects. In addition, a corporate policy enables ZEISS developers to contribute to the global community.

8 February 2023

Oberkochen, Germany | 08 February 2023 | ZEISS Group

Free and open source software (FOSS) has been the driving force of innovative software development for many years and is largely responsible for the blossoming of modern software ecosystems. The source code at the core is publicly available and can be viewed, further developed and used and redistributed by anyone without any restrictions. Collaborative development of software by individuals, but also across company boundaries is made possible and facilitated based on these FOSS principles.

FOSS is of crucial importance in the ongoing process of digitalization at ZEISS

ZEISS continues to drive technology-enabled change and will make digitalization part of its DNA. Like many other companies, ZEISS is also expanding the use of FOSS in this context. This is applied in its work processes and flows into the development of its high-tech product portfolio.

FOSS is of crucial importance in the ongoing process of digitalization at ZEISS

ZEISS as a member of the FOSS community

To position itself as a sustainable member of the global FOSS community, ZEISS launched initiatives in 2022 aimed at supporting FOSS projects and developers with high relevance for the company. The reason for this is that members of the FOSS community often cannot give enough time and priority to their projects because they (have to) earn their living elsewhere. To counteract these, ZEISS launched two initiatives last year:

  • A company-wide policy enables all ZEISS employees, especially from the areas of cloud computing, embedded systems, algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence, to actively participate in FOSS by contributing code.
  • By providing financial support for selected FOSS projects, ZEISS enables the maintaining developers to concentrate on their work and use the funds made available to spend more time working on software components that are valuable to ZEISS.

ZEISS employees select the winners

In a Group-wide survey of employees from development teams, three projects were selected to receive 4,000 euros each: Notepad++, a powerful text and code editor that supports a wide range of programming languages. Git is a distributed version control system that allows source code to be managed across organizations. NumFOCUS is an organization that aims to promote open practices in research, data, and scientific computing by supporting relevant open source projects and providing educational programs.

In addition, developers of smaller framework components that have a significant benefit for ZEISS will also receive grants of 1,000 euros each: Sindre Sorhus, Qix and Jon Schlinkert.

ZEISS itself also publishes FOSS. All FOSS projects published by ZEISS can be found on GitHub:

Press contact Jörg Nitschke

Head of Corporate Brand, Communications and Public Affairs


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries. The ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling more than 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology, Consumer Markets and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (updated: 30 September 2022).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces, and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, as well as medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13% of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With over 38,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (updated: 30 September 2022). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG

Further information at

Press photos

  • FOSS is of crucial importance in the ongoing process of digitalization at ZEISS.

    File size: 941 KB