Wetzlar, Germany - Leica Microsystems will sponsor the new endowed professorship in Optical Technologies at the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (University of Applied Sciences), THM, in Wetzlar, Germany, with an amount of 50,000 euros a year for a period of five years. The company sees its sponsorship as a contribution toward promoting the region’s technological development on a sustained basis. Leica Microsystems will also participate in an industrial advisory committee connected with the endowed professorship and accompany the planned research and teaching activities with practice-oriented advice and support. After the chair at the Institute of Technical Optics (ITO) at Stuttgart University and the chair for Biomedical Optics (BMO) at the University of Lübeck, the Wetzlar endowed professorship is the third in Germany to be supported by Leica Microsystems.
To launch plans for an endowed professorship in the field of optical technologies, the THM had teamed up with the industry network ‘Wetzlar Network’, the city of Wetzlar and representatives of industry. The endowed professorship is to be set up in Wetzlar and be financed fifty-fifty by private enterprises and public funding. With its focus on basic science plus optical systems technology, metrology and optics production, the academic profile of the “Optical Technologies” degree course would be unique in the whole of Germany.
“A high-end high-tech company like Leica Microsystems needs highly qualified individuals with a broad technological and scientific skillset in the medium and long term,” comments Eoghan O’Lionaird, President of Leica Microsystems GmbH. “It is therefore in our interest to intensify our cooperation with the THM by helping to set up the endowed professorship.” According to O’Lionaird, the planned user center with appropriate lab equipment is another key facility for even more effective interlinking of the education, technology transfer and research between the university and the region’s industries. The industrial advisory committee will also be closely consulted on the center’s final design and equipment.
“The success of the technology region of Wetzlar with its highly specialized industries crucially depends on the quality and qualifications of its specialists,” stresses Harald Semler, Head of Economic Affairs of the City of Wetzlar. “We would like to express our special thanks to Eoghan O’Lionaird and Leica Microsystems for their great commitment.” Ralf Niggemann, Manager of Wetzlar Network and one of the key initiators of the endowed professorship, is also pleased: “As a technology leader with a long tradition, Leica Microsystems is one of the cornerstones of our optics region. It is therefore all the more important that the company’s support for the endowed professorship is not only exceedingly generous, but also long-term.”