Profile and mission

The ILM is an institute of the Innovationsallianz Baden-Württemberg, it transfers findings from applied research into practice To this end, it works, often together with companies, on publicly funded projects and direct R&D-contracts.

The main areas of expertise are „Biomedical Optics“, „Optics-Simulation and Microoptics“ and „Optical Metrology and Sensor Technology“. These are widely used in different business fields.

Legal form & finances

The ILM was established in 1985 as the "Foundation for Laser Technologies in Medicine" by the companies Aesculap and Carl Zeiss; it was expanded to include metrology in 1995. The foundation is open to donors. Currently, the founding donors include Richard Wolf GmbH and the University Hospital.

The ILM is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment and Housing as well as by donations from the founding companies. The institute earns the major part of its budget through projects.



The mission of the institute is application-oriented research and the transfer of the developed technologies into industrial and medical practice. In order to expand its know-how, the ILM applies for public funding. The ILM uses the entire range of public funds available, from state-wide calls for proposals through the DFG, BMBF, BMWi, private foundations to EU funding.

On this basis, companies are provided with tailor-made and cost-effective offers. A special concern of the ILM is the transfer of technology to SMEs.


The Institute is managed by the Foundation's two-member Executive Board. The Chairman of the Board is also the full-time director of the Institute and is responsible for the operational management. Twice a year, the Executive Board reports to the Board of Trustees, which, as the supervisory body, appoints and discharges the members of the Executive Board, approves the business plan and is responsible for questions of a fundamental nature. The board of trustees includes representatives of the founders, state ministries, the University of Ulm and other universities as well as other personalities from the business world.

Contact persons

Prof. Dr. Alwin Kienle

Prof. Dr. Alwin Kienle

Director Materials Optics & Imaging

Tel: +49 (0)731 / 1429 224

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