The W3+ Fair celebrates a successful premiere in Jena


The new W3+ Fair Jena has hit the high-tech nerve of Thuringia: Around 160 exhibitors, partners and speakers welcomed over 2000 trade visitors as well as the Thuringian Minister President. The result: the latest cutting-edge technologies, enthusiastic participants and plenty of inspiration.

Hamburg/ Jena, 06. December 2023. The W3+ Fair Jena ( opened its doors for the first time on 29 + 30 November 2023 with welcoming speeches from Bodo Ramelow, Minister President of Thuringia, and the Mayor of Jena. Jena’s first industry trade fair brought together players from the cutting-edge technologies of photonics, optics, electronics and mechanics in the Sparkassen-Arena Jena: Over 160 exhibitors, partner associations and speakers met a total of 2027 trade visitors. “What a great atmosphere at the new W3+ Fair Jena! We are still buzzing from the successful premiere and all the positive feedback. Providing a stage for photonics and neighbouring key technologies has paid off: we will be bringing this enriching live exchange across professional and regional boundaries to Jena every year in future,” says Nora Kirsten, Managing Director of Gold Partner OptoNet e.V., happily.

Full aisles, good discussions

A good third of the exhibition space was occupied by companies from Thuringia. However, exhibitors from other federal states and 10 other countries, including the UK, France and the USA, also took the opportunity to present themselves to the region. Satisfaction was high: according to the exhibitor survey, 84 per cent of the companies are already making firm plans to attend the next event in September 2024. It wasn’t just the 23 companies at the joint Thuringian stand that were very busy: “So many good discussions with new and old contacts in a short space of time at the cradle of industrial optics – a format like this was long overdue in Jena,” confirmed Dr Jörg Wagner, Managing Director of LEJ Leistungselektronik Jena and new Chairman of the Board of OptoNet e.V.
The visitors also gave the event top marks. Most of them came from the region. But even guests from abroad, for example from the Netherlands, Lithuania and Switzerland, used the first event to make contact with companies in Thuringia.

Top speakers from Jenoptik, Zeiss and ASML

The accompanying conference en-tech.talks, which took place at the same time, also got off to a very good start in Jena. High-calibre speakers from Jenoptik, Zeiss, ASML, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and many more gave talks over two days in front of a packed audience. The interest was great. In addition to the EPIC TechWatch, the Federal Agency for Leap Innovations SPRIND sent four start-ups with new ideas to pitch on stage. Silicon Saxony also brought a far-sighted perspective to the podium: closer technological cooperation for Central Germany in terms of skilled labour, projects and financing.

The Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences presented eight of its current university research projects in the Campus Area. Offers and support for foreign co-operation projects were provided by the Europe Enterprise Network EEN, among others.

Strong support from the region Jena/ Thuringia

Overall, the W3+ Fair was supported by many professional associations and numerous partners from the region, including the Thuringian Cluster Management LEG Thüringen, the Metropolitan Region of Central Germany, the East Thuringia Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Gera, the Tridelta Campus Hermsdorf, the Centre for Mechanical Engineering ThZM, Enterprise Europe Network EEN and the medical technology network medways. The latter organised a LifeScience Day specifically for the W3+ Fair.

“The new W3+ Fair Jena was a complete success. It is based on the strong photonics sector, the leading photonics location of Jena/Thuringia, our highly motivated partners and the established trade fair concept. This combination enabled us to create real added value for all participants. The W3+ Fair is the perfect marketplace for the entire value chain of enabling technologies – this is where partnerships and ideas for future innovations are born,” says Jörg Brück, Project Director of the W3+ Fair.

At the W3+ Fair, the networking trade fair for enabling technologies, cutting-edge technologies are presented, interdisciplinary networks are established, knowledge is exchanged and innovations for the major issues of our time are launched.

The upcoming W3+ Fair Jena will take place on 25 + 26 September 2024. In spring, on 13 + 14 March 2024, the trade fair will celebrate its tenth anniversary at its home venue in Wetzlar.

More information and images at
Image material on the W3+ Fair press page under Downloads

About the W3+ Fair

The event traces its roots back to an industry imitative organised in Wetzlar and Mittelhessen, and its objective is to interlink the four sectors of optics, photonics, electronics and mechanics. The aim is that new interfaces and points of contact will pave the way for forward-looking technologies. The trade fair debuted at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar in February 2014. The W3+ Fair is organised by the Hamburg-based company, FLEET Events ( In September 2019, the W3+ Fair Rhine Valley celebrated its premiere in the four-county region. In 2023, the organizer has expanded its portfolio to include the W3+ Fair Jena.

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