Optical Industry

Fotograf: Roger Richter, Wiesbaden

The town of Wetzlar in the middle of Hessen is a centre for the German optical industry. More than 70 optical companies are located in and around Wetzlar, employing 5400 people in total. They achieve a turnover in the high hundreds of millions with the development and production of optical equipment.

The ‘Wetzlar Network’ of local industries was founded in 2010, with the aim of strengthening the sector in central Hessen and raising the profile of the optical, electronic and mechanical industries at home and abroad. Membership already stands at 23 companies and institutions, which use the cluster as a means of brokering, communication and multiplication. Their specialisms and innovation potential are to be promoted more effectively by networking. Co-operation is particularly prevalent with Hessen’s institutions of higher education, such as the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (THM).

Across the state, the optical industry employs about 20,000 people in around 180 companies – including many highly specialised businesses such as the laser technology manufacturer Excel Technology Europe in Darmstadt, and Wiesbaden’s Vitronic, a world-leading image processing company.

“Wetzlar is very important as a location because its 70 prestigious companies represent innovative precision optics Made in Germany across the world.”
Ralf Niggemann, Network Manager of the Wetzlar Network


  • Carl Zeiss Sports Optics
  • Leica Camera und Leica Microsystems
  • Minox
  • OptoTech
  • Satisloh
  • Vitronic
  • Vistec
  • Oculus
  • Bedea
  • Merck
  • Evonik Röhm
  • Heraeus