Individualized fiber components for the world market: LZH scientist founds FiberBridge Photonics GmbH
06/22/2017

From the Science and Technology Park Hannover (WTH) to the world market: The FiberBridge Photonics GmbH manufactures fiber components and modules for laser and light guiding systems. (Photo: FiberBridge Photonics GmbH)

The logo of the 18th spin-off company of the LZH. (Photo: FiberBridge Photonics GmbH)

On June 14th, 2017, Dr.-Ing. Thomas Theeg, scientist at the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), founded the 18th spin-off company of the research institute. Specialized in custom glass fiber components, fiber modules and manufacturing systems for these components, the FiberBridge Photonics GmbH will be providing customers from research, production, telecommunications and medical technology with individualized products.

Already in March 2016, the business idea had been awarded at the StartUp-Impuls ideas competition of the Sparkasse Hannover and the hannoverimpuls GmbH in the “Going Global” category. Furthermore, in November 2016, scientists of the LZH received funding through the EXIST research transfer program of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. “With this support we were able to further develop our research findings for the foundation of the company. Startups like ours, which require extensive development works in preparation of the foundation, would not be possible without this funding”, says CEO Dr.-Ing. Thomas Theeg.

Optimum conditions for high-tech startups
Before, the FiberBridge Photonics team had been working in the Laser Development Department of the LZH for ten years, and collected extensive competences and experiences in the field of glass fiber components and fiber-based laser systems. “We encourage our employees to develop business ideas, and offer startups the opportunity to test their business model here while keeping the investment costs at a low level before they leave the LZH at some point”, explains Dr. Dietmar Kracht, Executive Director of the LZH, the entrepreneurial culture at the institute. Prior to FiberBridge, already 17 spin-off companies of the institute had been established in the region of Hannover, and created about 500 jobs.

In their search for financing options and in preparing the EXIST proposal, the LZH scientists were supported by hannoverimpuls. The business development agency of the city and region of Hannover is dedicated to strengthening Hannover as a business through transferring innovations from science.

Flexibly combinable glass fiber components of almost any shape
The FiberBridge Photonics team will now enter the world market with a highly innovative and competitive product portfolio. The optical properties of their glass fiber components and fiber modules, which are manufactured semi-automated using CO2 laser radiation, match perfectly because all products come from a single source. Customers select for example their individual wavelength and fiber type, and, moreover, can flexibly combine various components. Both small, medium and large production volumes are available, with a high reproducibility.

Thus, entirely new possibilities in terms of system performance and economic efficiency are opening up for many industrial sectors, such as for example laser manufacturers. There is a high demand: The customers need precise, reproducible and cost-efficient components for their laser and light guiding systems. As of late, these products can be purchased via www.fiberbridge-photonics.com.

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Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH)

As an independent, non-profit research institute, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) stands for innovative research, development and consulting. The LZH is supported by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport and is dedicated to the selfless promotion of applied research in the field of photonics and laser technology. Founded in 1986, over 170 employees are now working for the LZH.

The focus of the LZH lies on the fields of optical components and systems, optical production technologies, and biomedical photonics. Interdisciplinary cooperation between natural scientists and mechanical engineers makes innovative approaches to challenges from the most different areas possible: from the development of components for specific laser systems to process developments for the most diverse laser applications, for example for medical technology or lightweight construction in the automotive sector. Seventeen spin off companies have emerged from the LZH up to now. Thus, the LZH has created a strong transfer between fundamental science, application oriented research, and industry.