The Foundation

A vision requires dedication to become a reality

The foundation has the task of expanding the existing Optical Museum to create the Deutsches Optisches Museum, thereby also cementing Jena's reputation as a "City of Light" and a center for optical technologies.


As a historic site in the center of the city, the museum will build on Jena’s history as the "City of Optics" at its present location while preserving, expanding and presenting its collection.


As part of its educational mission, it will promote the knowledge of optics and teach visitors about the joys of physics and the natural sciences. As a research-oriented museum, the Deutsches Optisches Museum thrives on its connection to science and research, in particular to the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. The institution will also serve as a platform for international scientific discussions.


The sponsors of the new museum aim for it to be a place that preserves cultural history, presents forward-thinking educational programs, conducts pioneering research and thereby establishes trends in optics and the optical industry.


Chair of the Foundation

Chair of the Foundation

Founding Director:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Timo Mappes


Professor for the History of Physics with a focus on science communication at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena.
The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees ensures that the aims and statutes of the foundation are observed and supervises the museum's director. The Board of Trustees comprises at least one of the representatives of the five initiators:

The Ernst-Abbe-Foundation

... is a foundation named after the German scientist Ernst Abbe and was established in 1992 from parts of the Carl-Zeiss-Foundation. It is committed to the promotion of science, particularly in Abbe’s home of Thuringia in eastern Germany. The foundation runs different establishments, including the Zeiss Planetarium in Jena. Moreover, the foundation owns building societies and manages buildings used for biotechnical reasons on Jena’s Beutenberg campus, where the Ernst Abbe Center opened on 23 January 2006.

Chairman of the Ernst Abbe Foundation, Prof. Dr. Thomas Deufel
Chairman of the Ernst Abbe Foundation, Prof. Dr. Thomas Deufel

The City of Jena

... is a German university city and an administrative district in Thuringia in the Central Germany metropolitan region. One of three regional centers, it is located on the Saale river and is the second-largest city in the state after the capital Erfurt. In 2008, the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (a joint initiative of German industries to promote science and higher education) bestowed the title of "City of Science" on Jena. The city of Jena is also known as “Jena. City of Light.” In 2016, Jena was given the honorary title of “European City of the Reformation” by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe.

Head of the JenaKultur municipal enterprise, Jonas Zipf
Head of the JenaKultur municipal enterprise, Jonas Zipf

Friedrich Schiller University in Jena

...(Latin: Alma Mater Jenensis, also known as Salana, Salina) is the largest and only comprehensive university in the German state of Thuringia with 18,219 students, 360 professorships, 7,032 employees and over 200 courses of study, including the so-called “small subjects” like Caucasian Studies, Romanian Studies and Indo-European Studies. One of the oldest universities in Germany with a rich tradition, it is a member of the Coimbra Group. As part of the Excellence Initiative, the university became a recipient of the Graduate School promotional initiative in 2007. In honor of the university’s 450th anniversary, Jena was named the "City of Science 2008."

University President, Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal
University President, Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal

The Carl-Zeiss-Foundation

… is headquartered in Heidenheim an der Brenz and Jena and is the sole owner of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG. It was established in 1889 by physicist and mathematician Ernst Abbe. It promotes science and research in the natural and engineering sciences at universities in the German federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Pfalz and Thuringia. In 2015 the foundation was named Germany’s Scientific Foundation of the Year.

Member of the Board of the Foundation Administration, Dennys Klein
Member of the Board of the Foundation Administration, Dennys Klein

Carl Zeiss AG

... is an internationally leading technology enterprise in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and approximately 25 research and development centers around the globe. 
In fiscal year 2015/16 the company generated revenue approximating €4.9 billion with over 25,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The Carl-Zeiss-Foundation ist he sole owner oft he company.
ZEISS in Jena
In Jena all four segments are represented by the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Medical Technology and Microscopy business groups, the Planetariums strategic business unit and the Central Research area of  ZEISS. Jena is also the headquarters of the central service company for the production operations of the ZEISS Group. ZEISS employs approximately 2,000 people at its Jena site.

President & CEO, Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke
President & CEO, Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke

The Scientific Advisory Committee

The Scientific Advisory Committee (5...8 members) has no influence on the Foundation’s management and administration. For questions regarding the museum’s scientific concept, scientific collaboration with other persons or entities, or the collaboration with educational facilities, the Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of the Museum Director and the Board of Trustees must be consulted.
Through its advisory and supporting role, the scientific advisory committee will ensure high-quality scientific work. However its members have yet to be appointed.

The Initiators

  1. City of Jena
    Represented by its mayor, Dr. Albrecht Schröter (Dr. Thomas Nitzsche)
  2. Ernst-Abbe-Foundation
    Represented by its Chairman, Dr. Thomas Deufel
  3. Carl-Zeiss-Foundation
    Represented by its Chairwoman of the Foundation Administration, Minister for Science, Research and Art (BW) Theresia Bauer
  4. Carl Zeiss AG
    Represented by its President & CEO, Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke
  5. Friedrich Schiller University Jena
    Represented by its President, Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal


Foundation Supervisory Board from the foundation through the appointment of the Founding Director: Dr. Franz Ferdinand von Falkenhausen
Honorary citizen of the city of Jena and former CEO of Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH

Statute of the DEUTSCHES OPTISCHES MUSEUM Foundation

Satzung der Stiftung Deutsches Optisches Museum
In seiner Fassung vom 13. April 2017
2017-04-13-Satzung der Stiftung DOM.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 60.4 KB