Press Release

EMBL and ZEISS enter long-term strategic partnership

Accelerating the development of imaging technology to advance life science research

6 July 2023

Jena/Heidelberg, Germany |  6 July 2023 |  ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and ZEISS have entered a long-term strategic partnership. The collaboration aims to close the gap between early-stage imaging technology development and its application in life science research.

Through this collaborative approach, users of the EMBL Imaging Centre and related EMBL imaging services will have access to the latest microscopy technologies and expertise from ZEISS. At the same time, the research carried out at EMBL and projects by Imaging Centre users will provide ZEISS with invaluable insights into new applications and opportunities for market-testing their most recent technology developments.

  • Stuart Ingham / EMBL

    Front row, from left to right: Michael Albiez (Head of ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions) and Edith Heard (Director General EMBL);

    Back row: Herbert Schaden (Head of Global Academia Key Account Management at ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions), Horst Wolff (Head of Light Microscopy at ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions), Stephanie Alexander (Research & Service Coordinator, EMBL IC and Cell Biology & Biophysics), Jan Ellenberg (Head of Cell EMBL IC and Cell Biology & Biophysics), Rainer Pepperkok (Director of Scientific Core Facilities and Services at EMBL), Jürgen Bauer (Deputy Managing Director EMBLEM)

  • Stuart Ingham / EMBL

    Anna Steyer, Cryo-tomography Specialist at EMBL IC explains service workflows offered in correlative light and electron microscopy under cryogenic conditions to Michael Albiez (Head of ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions) and Herbert Schaden (Head of Global Academia Key Account Management at ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions).

Continuous collaboration

The new agreement, negotiated with support from EMBL’s technology transfer arm EMBLEM, is based on the long-term collaborative interaction between EMBL and ZEISS and previous project-based partnerships. For example, ZEISS recently supported the initial equipment for operations in the EMBL Imaging Centre and provided microscopy instruments for the EMBL mobile laboratories for field research.

“EMBL and ZEISS have been working together fruitfully on multiple microscopy projects for decades, and we are excited to take the next step in our relations and give it a strategic perspective in this new framework agreement,” commented Jan Ellenberg, Head of the EMBL Imaging Centre.

The long-term collaboration will allow the users of the Imaging Centre to get early access to the latest microscopy innovations from ZEISS. At the same time, regular strategic discussions will provide a unique opportunity for EMBL and ZEISS to engage in joint technology development, thereby making sure life scientists’ future needs for imaging technologies are taken into account for the development of the next generation of commercial microscopes.

The EMBL Imaging Centre’s core mission is to provide access to and training in cutting-edge imaging technologies and to stimulate the ongoing development of these technologies. This offers a unique opportunity to take the partnership with ZEISS to a new level.

Michael Albiez, Head of ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions, stated: “This collaboration is creating new ways for both EMBL and ZEISS to interact and work together. The cutting-edge research performed in the EMBL Imaging Centre and EMBL as a whole will be an ideal testing and development environment for our next generation of imaging technologies.”

Enabling future life science applications

EMBL and ZEISS work together to make new technologies available as early as possible to users of the Imaging Centre and related EMBL services and thereby guide their development for future applications in the life sciences. The collaboration focuses on three areas: the joint development and application testing of new imaging technologies, joint activities in Open Data, and training.

Press Contact Vybhav Sinha ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions


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 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 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, 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 over 40,000 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 2023). 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


ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions

ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions is the leading provider of light, electron, X-ray microscope systems, correlative microscopy and software solutions leveraging AI technologies. The portfolio comprises of products and services for life sciences, materials and industrial research, as well as education and clinical routine applications. The unit is headquartered in Jena. Additional production and development sites are located in Germany, UK, USA and China. ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions is part of the Industrial Quality & Research segment.

Further information at

About EMBL

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is Europe’s life sciences laboratory. We provide leadership and coordination for the life sciences across Europe, and our world-class fundamental research seeks collaborative and interdisciplinary solutions for some of society’s biggest challenges. We provide training for students and scientists, drive the development of new technology and methods in the life sciences, and offer state-of-the-art research infrastructure for a wide range of experimental and data services.

EMBL is an intergovernmental organisation with 28 member states, one associate member, and one prospective member. At our six sites in Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Hinxton near Cambridge, and Rome, we seek to better understand life in its natural context, from molecules to ecosystems.

Press photos

  • Zeiss Signing Ceremony Imaging Centre EMBL

    File size: 3 MB
  • Zeiss Signing Ceremony Imaging Centre EMBL

    File size: 3 MB

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