ZEISS will invest over EUR 300 million in a new integrated high-tech site
ZEISS continues its strategic, global investment and growth trajectory; new integrated high-tech site, which will benefit the entire region and bring together all local ZEISS units by 2023; founding site of Jena to remain one of the top innovation hubs for ZEISS; plans to forge closer links to science, teaching and local industry; the state of Thuringia and the city of Jena will both support the project with the options available to them.
ZEISS will invest over EUR 300 million in a new integrated high-tech site. The world’s technology leader in the optics and optoelectronics industries unveiled its plan in Jena.
In line with this plan, ZEISS will bring together its existing sites in Jena by 2023. To do this, ZEISS will acquire partially unused premises from SCHOTT, which it will renovate and use to construct a new facility for its second-largest site worldwide.
Jena is thus an integral part of ZEISS’s global investment strategy and is the next in a string of international projects aimed at expanding, modernizing and realigning sites that ZEISS has been implementing in locations such as Germany, Europe and Asia since 2011. Just three weeks ago, the company announced plans to invest EUR 30 million in the ZEISS Innovation Hub at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
“As a global technology leader, our investments are focused on leveraging the existing potential in our growth markets,” explains Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG. “To do so, we need an even stronger presence and better networking at the innovation hotspots.” In Jena, this translates into close collaboration with institutions such as Friedrich Schiller University, Ernst Abbe University, the Ilmenau University of Technology, other local universities of applied sciences and institutes such as those that are part of the Max Planck Society, as well as partner companies and local suppliers.
“These investments will enable us to become more attractive as an employer for top talents, as a company that offers traineeships for the next generation and as a collaboration partner for industry and science, and thus put us in an excellent position to ensure future customer success through our products and solutions,” continues Kaschke. ZEISS is focusing in particular on creating a dynamic growth area at the new site for start-ups.
With a total of 2,000 employees, Jena is already the second-largest ZEISS site worldwide. On the 80,000 m2 partially unused site ZEISS is acquiring, the company plans to build an integrated high-tech complex that will benefit Jena, a hub for high-tech and science; it will do this by lending it modernity, openness and through the technology developed and produced there.
At its founding site, the company is therefore laying the groundwork for further growth at the ZEISS Group. This will be ensured by more efficient buildings, new infrastructure and cutting-edge workplaces on a larger site. Synergy effects between individual business groups and partners from science and local industry constitute additional success factors.
“The existing infrastructure in Lichtenhain no longer meets our needs, or those of our customers, partners and employees, and we have actually outgrown the facility in Jena’s Göschwitz district due to the rapid growth of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG,” says Kaschke. Dr. Kaschke recognizes that synergy potential will be unlocked at the new site with sister company SCHOTT, particularly in the implementation of a more sustainable energy supply strategy, logistics and other infrastructure work.
ZEISS plans to increase the number of its employees in Jena to approximately 2,500 by the middle of the next decade, thus ensuring it remains the company’s second-largest site and one of the top innovation sites for ZEISS.
The state of Thuringia and the city of Jena have pledged extensive support to the project with the options available to them. Joint plans with the city will include constructing new transportation options and parking lots, addressing any legacy issues and ensuring a sustainable energy strategy.
The state will develop the old ZEISS premises through the State Development Corporation of Thuringia (LEG); this will soon offer excellent opportunities for other companies, institutes and carve-outs to be accommodated here. The LEG will also be used as a key contact for realizing the project at the new ZEISS site.
Construction on the site is scheduled to begin in 2019 following the accompanying construction and consultation procedures; it will largely be complete by the end of 2023.
A closed architecture competition will decide how the complex will actually look and how the historic building on the premises will be integrated into the facility by early 2018.