Researchers and Innovators

Inspiring People to See Things in New Ways

As the pioneer of science in optics, ZEISS continues to challenge the limits of our imagination. With our passion for excellence, at ZEISS we create value for our customers and inspire the world to see things in new ways.

Since it was established, top researchers and innovators have been shaping the company. Founders Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe joined forces with Otto Schott to establish the modern optical industry, thereby enabling fundamental discoveries in medicine and science.

Qualified Staff at ZEISS

Expert Ladder and Junior Executives

Supporting Personal and Professional Development

Innovation, Research and Development require highly qualified specialists. ZEISS created the Expert Ladder for these employees.

It offers specialist employees individual development and advancement possibilities. It focuses on the expansion and active application of their particular areas of expertise.

ZEISS Research Award

Since 1990

Initiated and funded by ZEISS, the ZEISS Research Award is the successor to the Carl Zeiss Research Award that has honored outstanding achievements in optical research across the world every two years since 1990.
Many awardwinners subsequently received other important distinctions, with four of them going on to win the Nobel Prize.

Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers

Starting in 2016, independently of the ZEISS Research Award, the Ernst Abbe Fund in the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany will present a research award with a new focus: the Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers.

Internal Innovation Award

Since 2003

The Innovation Awards, which have been presented every year since 2003, are destined for R&D employees. The company honors the most innovative projects by ZEISS employees in a total of five categories. Winners are selected by a jury of high-ranking external experts.

  • Excellent Knowledge Sharing
  • High-Risk Project
  • Innovative Business Design
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Short Time to Market

Promoting Young Scientists

Promoting future scientists is anchored in the statue of the Carl Zeiss Foundation – a stipulation of its founder, Ernst Abbe.

As a leading optics company, ZEISS believes it’s particularly important to promote the education of up-and-coming scientists, primarily in the field of photonics.

ZEISS President and CEO Dr. Karl Lamprecht

The focus of the Education and Science Fund launched in 2013 is on initiatives to promote education among young people, primarily high school students who have not yet selected a degree program, and their scientific skills, as well as projects and initiatives at universities and research institutes.

The focus is on the fields of natural science and engineering, particularly optics and photonics.

During the 2016/17 fiscal year, over 300,000 euros was used to fund nearly 30 projects.

Involvement in Education and Science

Photonics Academy

The Photonics Academy at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Mechanics in Jena is a hands-on week for natural science and engineering students from all over Germany. Participants can find out about research topics and application areas for photonics at companies and institutes.

Ernst Abbe University, Jena

The Ernst Abbe University in Jena was established on 1 October 1991 and was the first higher education establishment in the former East Germany. ZEISS maintains a longstanding partnership with the university. The aim of the collaboration is to ensure top-quality, hands-on training for junior executives.

Sponsorship from the Carl Zeiss Foundation

The Carl Zeiss Foundation, the owner of ZEISS and SCHOTT, uses the dividend payments from its companies to run sponsorship activities at universities in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia.