Germany Opens Photonic Production Research Campus
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has opened a new Digital Photonic Production (DPP) research campus at the RWTH Aachen University. This is one of nine such research campuses across Germany that BMBF will fund to the tune of 2 million euros per year for up to 15 years.
The plan is for the RWTH Aachen DPP research campus to become the home to a new kind of collaboration between science and industry. "Aachen is Germany's only university location to feature two research campuses funded by our ministry," explained Thomas Rachel, parliamentary state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), at the DPP opening event held at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in January this year.
BMBF-funded work at Aachen falls into two categories: While the Flexible Electrical Networks Consortium (FEN) is developing new ways of transporting energy using direct current, the DPP research campus will focus on the basic physical effects of light as well as on new methods of using laser in the industrial production of tomorrow.
Alongside additive manufacturing methods (direct photonic production), work at the DPP research campus will also harness manufacturing techniques that use ultrafast lasers (femto photonic production) as well as new kinds of VCSEL beam sources - for example to selectively functionalise nano-scale layers (nano photonic production).
Among the 20 industry partners are small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large companies such as Siemens AG.