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Kühn: I work closely with all departments of the institute and take care of networking and cooperation at IAF. I also take on an advisory role and ensure the further development of scientific core competencies. Given the size of the upcoming projects, the internal organization is more important than ever, because only together can we manage the upcoming changes.
Quay: For me, the current focus is mainly on further developments in terms of topics. In addition to the ongoing business of the steadily growing semiconductor industry, it is above all important to make the vision of quantum technology, which for many still seems to be difficult to grasp, a reality and to implement the concepts we have developed. In addition, we also want to further develop our production structures and new cooperation models within the framework of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany in order to become even more efficient in the future.
Walther: I am responsible for the further development of the building and research infrastructure at IAF, including a whole range of tasks. I am in charge of strategic investment planning for the scientific and technical area. A second topic is the further development of the research and building infrastructure in coordination with the strategic goals of the institute as well as the planning and coordination of the research for the Federal Ministry of Defence.
Kühn: Probably the biggest structural change is the merger of the two departments »Epitaxy« and »New Materials«. Through their merger, the competencies of both departments will be pooled so that they can be jointly expanded and strengthened in the future. The growing research field of diamond devices in particular will benefit from the synergy, as materials research based on epitaxy will continue to be driven forward. This creates the basis for the development of innovative future circuits and devices based on diamond.
Quay: Parallel to the structural changes, there are also many innovations in terms of research topics. We are opening up new topics, have started larger and new types of projects and are creating the necessary structures in parallel. For example, we were able to win a lighthouse project of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in the field of quantum magnetometry. We have been participating in major projects with increasing frequency for about three years now and are also coordinating some of them ourselves. In addition, our environment is also changing, often demanding increasingly large projects. We are succeeding in bringing large projects to IAF. So far, we have expanded this offer during ongoing operations, but it is wise to create suitable structures for this. This will open up many new opportunities for Fraunhofer IAF in the future.
Walther: The completion and commissioning of our new laboratory building and the MOCVD hall is an important goal for the next two years. We want to achieve this without any significant interruption to ongoing operations and during ongoing project work. The relocation is necessary in view of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany and other large-scale projects. We want to adapt our infrastructure to the requirements of the future, tackle new strategic topics and new business models of the institute and prepare ourselves for cooperation with institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and external partners.
Kühn: In order to meet the growth just mentioned and to be able to process the new projects, we need significantly more employees now and in the future. In recent years, the number of employees has remained rather constant. In order to meet the upcoming needs of personnel growth, we also want to explore new ways of recruiting new talents.
Walther: I am very pleased that we have been so successful with the new networking of the Division Directors. We are tackling the new topics at the IAF together and everyone contributes their expertise to securing the future of the institute. We always achieve success as a team and through the commitment of everyone, especially the IAF staff. We have a great workforce that brings IAF forward.
Quay: What strikes me as positive is that, with all the changes, we are faced with a very open-minded institute. We always have the support of the staff, who often have a good nose for what is right for IAF. I am firmly convinced that together we will master the challenges ahead. Another highlight is the continuation of the internationalization of IAF. This year, for example, we were able to approach the US market despite regulatory hurdles and are now working together with NASA as well as ESA. With this appearance, concrete steps have been taken to implement the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s broader presence in new international markets.
On October 1, 2018, Fraunhofer IAF expanded its business unit management structures. By now, three division directors are instated. Dr. Jutta Kühn, Division Director Departments, Dr. Rüdiger Quay, Division Director Business Units, and Dr. Martin Walther, Division Director Research Infrastructure.