ZEISS microscope developers win the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022

The development of the ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7 for the gentle 3D imaging of living cells was honored with the Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation

Jena/Berlin, Germany | 26 October 2022 | ZEISS Group

Today, the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022, The Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation, to the team from ZEISS during a festive ceremony. The jury recognized the ZEISS experts Dr. Thomas Kalkbrenner, Dr. Jörg Siebenmorgen, and Ralf Wolleschensky for their significant contribution in the development of the microscope system ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7.

"We're delighted to have received the Prize and are very proud of the team behind the extraordinary development of the ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7," states Dr. Jochen Peter, member of the executive board of the ZEISS Group. "At the same time, the prize is a welcome confirmation of our company's innovative strength – this effectively promoting economic and social progress in equal measure."

With this award, the German President honors scientists for exceptional achievements in technology, engineering and the life sciences as well as software- and algorithm-based achievements that have resulted in viable products. It has a cash value of EUR 250,000. In addition to scientific excellence, the winning projects present a clear and recognizable benefit for society, the environment, and the economy.

ZEISS microscope developers Ralf Wolleschensky, Dr. Jörg Siebenmorgen and Dr. Thomas Kalkbrenner (from left) win the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022 for the development of the ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7. © Deutscher Zukunftspreis / Ansgar Pudenz © Deutscher Zukunftspreis / Ansgar Pudenz
ZEISS microscope developers Ralf Wolleschensky, Dr. Jörg Siebenmorgen and Dr. Thomas Kalkbrenner (from left) win the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022 for the development of the ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7.
ZEISS microscope developers Ralf Wolleschensky, Dr. Thomas Kalkbrenner and Dr. Jörg Siebenmorgen (from left) win the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022 for the development of the ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7.
ZEISS microscope developers Ralf Wolleschensky, Dr. Thomas Kalkbrenner and Dr. Jörg Siebenmorgen (from left) win the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022 for the development of the ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7.

Exploring the living cell

ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7 enables, for the first time, biomedical researchers to observe living cells live and in 3D for hours or even days. They study how, for example, the cells react to certain active agents, or what happens when viruses or bacteria enter cells. The problem for researchers studying living cells with fluorescence microscopes used to be the illumination: the intensities of the laser radiation used are higher than those of the sun by a factor of 1000 or more. This intense illumination can permanently damage living cells. A significant reduction in this photo damage is achieved with light sheet microscopy: unlike all other microscopes, the laser beam – in the form of a light sheet – is applied only in the area of the sample that is in the focus of the objective lens.

To do this, the team had to tame the laser in a special way and completely rearrange the objective lenses because the cells grow on the cover slips in culture vessels like Petri dishes or multiwell plates. They developed a completely new type of microscope optic that enables a person to look through the sample vessels ‒ at an angle and from below ‒ at the cells inside without artifacts. All this has been developed into an easy-to-use, compact system with high potential for automation.

Innovation as part of the corporate identity

ZEISS has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis multiple times. Two teams were even nominated in 2020. The ZEISS, TRUMPF and Fraunhofer research team was awarded the 2020 the Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation for the development of EUV lithography.
Innovation is a way of life at ZEISS. You might say it is in the company's genes. As part of corporate strategy, it is always associated with society as a whole – where it forms the basis for further growth within the ZEISS Group. That is why ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development work. Optical technologies are vital when it comes to making progress in the life sciences, medicine, IT, telecommunications, automotive, consumer and many other fields. All ZEISS innovations aim to meet future customer needs with products, services, solutions and business models as well as offer added value and benefits.

Innovation as part of the corporate identity

The Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022 was presented today by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin. Additional information about the award winners, the Prize, and a link to the live stream can be found at: www.deutscher-zukunftspreis.de/de/dzpwelt. ZDF will broadcast the award ceremony on 26 October at 10:15 p.m..

Press Contact

Jörg Nitschke
Head of Corporate Brand and Communications
ZEISS Group
Phone: +49 7364 20-3242
joerg .nitschke @zeiss .com

About ZEISS

ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 7.5 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2021).

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, and 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 percent 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 around 37,000 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 (status: 31 March 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 www.zeiss.com

Press Contact

Jörg Nitschke
Head of Corporate Brand and Communications
ZEISS Group
Phone: +49 7364 20-3242
joerg .nitschke @zeiss .com

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