The Fraunhofer society is presenting the Green Photonics award for young researchers for the first time. It will be awarded to outstanding young researchers specializing in engineering, natural science or economics whose final-year projects focus on the sustainable use of light. With a prize fund of 9,000 euros, the award is supported by Robert Bosch GmbH and the Association of German Engineers (VDI).
Optics and photonics are key technologies that can make an important contribution to solving the many challenges currently facing mankind. Light can be used to help increase energy and resource efficiency, improve environmental and climate protection, reduce greenhouse gases, and promote sustainable business practices. Solutions range from efficient lasers and optical measuring and sensor technology to energy-saving lighting and power generated from renewable sources. The use of environmentally friendly and resource-conserving – i.e. “green” – optical and optoelectronic technologies (green photonics) offers enormous potential from both an ecological and economic perspective.
The Fraunhofer Green Photonics innovative cluster in Jena is working on opening up these opportunities. The Green Photonics award is designed as an incentive and challenge for young researchers to focus their bachelor, master or diploma theses and dissertations on the development and application of optical systems and processes for sustainable business practices. The award is open to projects that engage with optical systems that are suitable for energy-efficient lighting, sustainable energy technology, or environmental and climate protection. Resource and energy efficiency in the manufacture of optical components and systems also comes under the remit of the award. “We want to work with young researchers to drive forward the promising future-focused topic of green photonics,” says Professor Andreas Tünnermann, spokesman of the cluster and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena. “That’s why we are giving out this award for outstanding bachelor, master or diploma theses and dissertations that focus on new solutions that use light for environmental and climate protection.” A panel of judges made up of representatives from industry, science, and politics will choose the winner. Scientific quality and application relevance will be key factors in deciding the winner. Entries can be submitted up to February 28, 2012.