DIHP – "Digital Innovation Hub Photonics"

The "Digital Innovation Hub Photonics" (DIHP) is a project of the State of Thuringia - supported by the Thuringian Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Society. Since the beginning of 2019, when it started as a pilot project, it promotes (spin-off) start-ups in the field of optics and photonics at the Beutenberg research campus in Jena. The DIHP is based at the Center of Excellence in Photonics of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, as well as at the Institute for Applied Physics IAP of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Since the beginning of 2022, we are in the consolidation phase with a consortium of five partners:

  • Abbe Center of Photonics of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena ACP,
  • Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology HKI,
  • Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies IPHT,
  • Helmholtz Institute Jena HI-J,
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF

So far, a total of twelve teams from the various institutes have been and are being supervised at DIHP. Close cooperation is maintained with the other partners within Jena, Thuringia, and the non-university research institutions.

The Consortium

Our purpose

New technologies are the drivers of innovation in the field of photonics. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), startups and young entrepreneurs often initiate groundbreaking change through pioneering technological developments. Driven by great self-motivation, they question the status quo of economy and society, thus achieving remarkable growth by introducing innovative solutions.

However, these players often lack the scientific-technological and financial skills to independently conduct research and development of the highest standard, to implement the latest technologies, or to initiate risky innovation projects. In many cases, young companies also fail during the start-up phase, primarily due to inaccurate market assessments, problems with financing, and non-marketable implementation of their products and solutions. In particular, the transition from the initial concept to a marketable product and a scalable business model represents a major challenge for founders and SMEs.

Therefore, DIHP supports SMEs and young entrepreneurs with photonics ideas in their early steps, accompanying them from their initial projects into the realization of a marketable product.  


DIHP supplements and complements the diverse support environment for start-ups and SMEs, especially in technological terms. Our aim is to become a national photonics-start-ups and transfer center in the future.

Contact us

Sebastian Händschke

Contact Press / Media

Dr. rer. pol. Sebastian Händschke

Digital Innovation Hub Photonics (DIHP)

c/o Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF
Albert-Einstein-Str. 7
07745 Jena

Phone +49 3641 807-257