Light for innovation: profile of the LZH
As an independent non-profit research institute for photonics and laser technology, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) stands for innovative research, development, and consulting. The LZH was founded in 1986 to conduct interdisciplinary research and development in laser technology, bringing together research and practice, and providing industry-relevant training for skilled professionals.
The interdisciplinary cooperation of scientists and engineers enables innovative approaches in various fields: from component development for specific laser systems to process development for laser applications, for example for medical technology or lightweight construction in the automotive sector. Currently, almost 200 people are employed at the LZH. The LZH is funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics, Transport, Building and Digitalization.
Our innovation fields represent the future topics of photonics and laser technology. In these areas, we identify and initiate trends, thus significantly contributing to the advancement of science, economy, and industry.
Central to LZH's success is the close regional scientific networking with Lower Saxony's universities and numerous renowned institutions. Participations in the clusters of excellence PhoenixD, QuantumFrontiers, and Hearing4all, as well as in various Special Research Fields (SFB) such as "Tailored Forming" and "Oxygen-Free Production," along with the DFG research group FOR 5250, distinguishes LZH. Furthermore, the LZH is a partner in (supra-)regional research institutions and research buildings and cooperates closely with universities and colleges in Lower Saxony.
In addition, the successful collaboration with the Albert Einstein Institute in the development of laser systems for gravitational wave detection should also be highlighted.
Transfer to the economy
LZH facilitates strong transfer between basic scientific research, application-oriented research, and industry. Particularly, small and medium-sized enterprises benefit from LZH's research spectrum and service offerings. In collaborative projects, they gain access to new technological knowledge, national and international networks, and public funding. With the services offered by LZH, companies can compensate for lacking R&D capacities.
Together with the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover, the LZH supports companies from Lower Saxony to introduce, implement and further develop 3D printing in the project "Niedersachsen ADDITIV". Since 2022, LZH has also been a partner in the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Lower Saxony. EEN is the world's largest network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and an important instrument of European SME promotion.
The transfer of knowledge also includes the placement of bright minds in the industry and other research institutions. Thus, an extensive network has been created over time. To date, 19 successful spin-offs with a total of about 500 jobs have emerged from the institute.
Promotion of Young Talent: Light for Your Future
The institute's efforts to promote young talent begin at school. Guided tours for school classes, school internships, participation in the IdeenExpo, and the annual Future Day give students an early insight into the exciting working world of a research institute. Afterward, it is possible to start at the LZH via classic vocational training and a voluntary scientific year, student research projects and theses, and student assistantships and internships. In the initial vocational training, the LZH cooperates with the local vocational school and thus also conveys laser technology to the future employees of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Hannover region.