Optence was founded in 2001 as a competence network for optical technologies on the initiative of the BMBF. It has been awarded with the Silver Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative and is a member of the "go-cluster" program of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). The number of members of the network has risen by over 100% in the last seven years and currently stands at 92 actors, most of which are small and medium-sized enterprises. The self-understanding of the network is that of a service provider for its members to generate innovation, growth and jobs. The service includes, among other things, Working groups on innovative topics such as LED technology, laser optics, image processing, optics design, industry 4.0, solar technology and coating (DUV-VUV), which take place twice a year and deepen special subjects through expert talks and discussion sessions.

Optence also organizes guided tours in companies ("members visiting members"), technology and networking days, which provide members with a platform for contact and exchange of information. But also numerous events initiated and organized by Optence, which, in addition to the network members, are also accessible to all other actors in the industry and contain current topics such as, for example, "Autonomous driving", are additional value for the members.

An important field of activity for Optence is the organization of professional further training. Relevant topics are asked by the members and implemented in challenging further training events. The cross-section technology of photonics often touches technology fields that require knowledge of adjacent technologies and fast-developing subjects. The offered further trainings help to ensure that "lifelong learning" in the high-tech sector of photonics is well implemented for companies and their employees.

All network activities are characterized by sustainability and the implementation of an innovation strategy developed with the members.

The "Internationalization of the Network" area was chosen as a core area by the participants. The aim is to achieve greater perception for companies abroad, to generate international contacts and to facilitate cooperation for member companies abroad, since, according to the participants, the R & D entry of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be improved at the international level.



Optence e.V.
Ober-Saulheimer-Str. 6
55286 Wörrstadt, Germany

Daniela Reuter
Executive Director

Nina Yeoman
Project Manager Technology Transfer