Our innovation workshop
To further stimulate new ideas we hold an innovation workshop once a year. Over three intense, focused days, colleagues across divisions and star students work in groups on current trends and topics. The aim is to bring together motivated and imaginative employees and offer them the opportunity and framework to develop together and produce innovations. They work in teams to solve challenges and gain their first experience as an entrepreneur at Jenoptik. A competitive yet good-natured context is set. Both our in-house teams and the student teams face the same challenges. Start-up ideas are presented to a jury at the end of the third day, which then names the ‘winner’.
The winner of the first "Think-Out-Loud-Award" is the team JENtool (or: "Pimp my CNC"). The innovative idea is to approach 3D printing machines from a different direction in order to achieve fast, flexible and individualized digital manufacturing with small areas and low investment requirements. To achieve this, it is a matter of upgrading functioning CNC machines with the JENtool. In addition to the machine’s usual tool inserts, JENtool’s automatic tool changer - a turn-mill center - is equipped with a laser head for marking. In effect, this is an optical measuring head based on our IPS sensor, or a high-precision white light interferometer.
Our Innovation Greenhouse is a scheme through which entrepreneurial employees with an innovative idea that relates to our core business are supported to develop that idea. This can also happen in tandem with an external start-up or university spin-out. Employees have to apply for the opportunity. If accepted we provide full funding for the project costs. This is a scheme that allows creative individuals to pursue their ideas and have the experience of running a new business in an open, incubator-style environment.
The typical colleague profile for such innovation is an independent thinker with an agile approach, with a deep understanding or knowledge of photonics.