Russian-German laser centers expand

Hannover, Germany – At the end of September, two new Testing, Consulting and Training Centers for the industrial use of laser technology opened in the cities of Taganrog and Kaluga in Russia. This brings the total number of Laser Innovative-Technological Centers (LITC) in Russia to five.

The goal of the centers for the industrial use of laser technology in Russia is to modernize manufacturing in Russia with the help of laser technology and know-how from Germany, all under the leadership of the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Bavarian Laser Center (BLZ). German enterprises, in return, hope to have easier access to the market in these economically interesting regions of Russia.

The five laser centers of the network use modern laser equipment from leading German companies like Trumpf, LIMO Lissotschenko, Rofin Sinar, Jenoptik, or the Maschinenfabrik Arnold. Depending on the available equipment, each site has specialized in certain areas of laser technology, for example, cutting and welding of metals, plastics or other non-metal materials, or on surface treatment.

At the LITCs, small- and medium-sized enterprises from the region, and also research institutes and universities, have the possibility to use modern laser equipment to push process development and training and education, and to open new fields of application. Support in training and education for specialists in the fields of laser technology and laser safety is given by the staff of the German laser centers in Lower Saxony (LZH) or Bavaria (BLZ).

The Southern Laser Innovative Technology Center (SLITC) in Taganrog is located near one of the important centers of the Russian aeronautic industry: Obninsk. The Kaluga Laser Innovative Technology Center is well-known for its automotive industry. These two new innovation centers are joining the centers already established in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Jekaterinburg.

At the opening ceremonies in Taganrog and Obninsk, a number of representatives from regional companies, universities, and organizations were present, along with German cooperation partners.

Markus Klemmt, Head of the Training and Education Group at the LZH, said, "The main advantage is in the networking. The consulting competencies and the training and education courses in the new centers will also be available for the whole network."

By engaging local enterprises, for example, the Beriev Aircraft Corp. und AviaOK International, the Southern Federal University, and the Laser Association Russia, and local government offices, the project initiators could form important cross-connections between industry, science, and politics, even during the set-up phase. This regional networking plays an important role, not only for the successful establishment of laser technology in Russia, but also for the inter-regional cooperation between the five Russian-German laser centers.

The "Testing, Consulting and Training Centers for Laser Technology in Russia" project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of a programme to further scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and Germany. The project management is carried out by the VDI-Technologiezentrum GmbH.

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