Optics Industry & Companies Thuringia

High-powered diode lasers, laser scanning microscopes and aspherical lenses for special optical filters are prime examples of sophisticated Thuringian-made technology. Global players such as ZEISS, Schott and JENOPTIK got their start in Thuringia and set the international standard for optics.


Nearly three quarters of the companies are located in the technology region Jena-Erfurt-Ilmenau and Gera. Here, multinational powerhouses such as Carl Zeiss and JENOPTIK work in close proximity with a number of highly innovative hidden champions as well as excellent research Institutes.

Facts & Figures

  • 187 companies
  • 16,200 employees
  • Around 2,300 students majoring in optics, laser engineering and related fields
  • Roughly 1,600 employees employees at private and university research institutions
  • Over 500 trainees in optic-related professions
  • 67% export quota
  • EUR 3,3 Billion in revenue
  • 10 % of German Photonics companies are located in Thuringia

Key products and technologies

  • Wide-ranging expertise is available in virtually all aspects of optical technologies.
  • Good manufacturer-mix: From makers of circuit elements and components to optical design specialists right up to system suppliers, you are guaranteed to meet the right partner in Thuringia.
  • Manufacturers cultivate close ties with the biotechnology, controls, instrumentation and medical technology industries.

Successful in Thuringia


Individual, competent, non-bureaucratic and flexible.

Cluster "OptoNet e.V."

Cooperative, constructive and competent

Downloads and information


  • Factsheet Optics

    Customers worldwide rely on the unique expertise of the Thuringian optics industry. (Not barrier-free file)

    Download[pdf, 387 KB]


Sebastian Scheit

Sebastian Scheit Director Mechanical Engineering/Electrical Engineering/Electronics and Optics

Invest in Thuringia

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