Abstract

The Abbe School of Photonics (ASP) provides and coordinates the optics and photonics education of graduate and doctoral students at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. The internationalized Master’s degree program is the key activity in training students in the optical sciences. The program is designed to provide them with the skills necessary to fill challenging positions in industry and academia. Here, an essential factor is ASP’s close collaboration with more than 20 German photonics companies. To sustain these partners’ future economic development, the availability of highly qualified employees is constantly required. Accordingly, these industrial partners, the European Union, the local state and the federal German government are strongly involved in the sustainable development of ASP’s curriculum by both conceptual and financial engagements. The main goal is to promote the students’ academic careers and job experience in the photonics industry as well as in academia. To open up the program to students from all over the world, all ASP lectures and courses are taught in English. ASP’s qualification strategy is fully research-oriented and based on the principles of academic freedom, competitive research conditions and internationalization at all levels. The education program is complemented by a structured doctoral student support and a prestigious guest professorship program. Recently, ASP and partners have started a project to build an open photonics laboratory in order to foster innovative and co-creative processes. The idea follows well-established open innovation schemes e.g. in electronics. This Photon Garage (German: “Lichtwerkstatt”) will bring together professionals and interested laymen from different backgrounds to approach pertinent challenges in photonics. Here, we will share our latest insights into the potentials and opportunities offered by this novel educative approach.

© 2017 OSA, SPIE, ICO, IEEE

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