Printoptix honored with Stuttgart Innovation Award

October 25, 2023

The start-up Printoptix GmbH makes the impossible possible. Using a 3D-printed micro-camera lens, doctors can now perform surgical procedures that were previously unthinkable. For this, Printoptix has received the Stuttgart Innovation Award, which is endowed with 25,000 euros.
[Picture: Thomas Niedermüller, Stadt Stuttgart]

Smaller, more powerful, and mechanically stable: The micro camera lenses made by Printoptix measure just 1.1 millimeters in diameter. For the past 10 years, Nils Fahrbach and his team at the Institute of Applied Optics and the 4th Physics Institute have been working on producing 3D-printed micro-optical systems. In 2020, they founded Printoptix GmbH and are now developing micro camera lenses using 3D printing. The lenses do not require a mount. They can be fixed directly to the cover glass of an image sensor and are therefore ideal for extremely small cameras, for example for endoscopes used in medical practices. "We know from our medical technology customers that this will enable procedures and surgeries that were previously too risky or dangerous, or not even possible" says Fahrbach, CEO of Printoptix. And some are even smaller: The smallest Printoptix lenses have a diameter of only 300 micrometers.

The University of Stuttgart joined the competition with several innovative ideas

Printoptix GmbH received the Stuttgart Innovation Award in the "Start-up" category for its innovative research. Also nominated for the start-up award were the University of Stuttgart's start-ups Semanux and SI Stuttgart Instruments GmbH. "I am delighted that, in addition to Printoptix, SI Stuttgart Instruments GmbH, Semanux and Cyclize, were also among the finalists for this year's Innovation Award," said Prof. Harald Giessen, director of the 4th Physics Institute at the University of Stuttgart, where SI GmbH also began. "This shows that our research is highly relevant in practice and that is unusual in the field of physics." A total of six spin-offs from the university were represented in the four categories "Sustainability and Social Issues," "Digitalization," "Start-up" and "Mobility.

"This is a great success for the University of Stuttgart, and it also ensures that our transfer activities are now available to a wider public," says a delighted Prof. Peter Middendorf, Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer at the university. The university's start-up officer, Prof. Alexander Brem, highlights the success of the start-ups in particular: "Anchoring entrepreneurship as a further career path is one of our major goals. The many nominees at the Stuttgart Innovation Award, have brought us closer to achieving this."

About the Stuttgart Innovation Award

The state capital awarded the Stuttgart Innovation Prize 2023 for the second time, under the motto "Stuttgart as an Innovation Metropolis”. With this award, the city of Stuttgart honors companies who are contributing to the regional economy and helping to shape the future with their exemplary innovations. Each of the four prizes is endowed with 25,000 euros. This year, external consultants selected the 20 best submissions from more than 110 applications. These were then presented to the 10 members of the expert jury. Three companies were selected as finalists for each category.


To the top of the page