Jena 2023 Digital Summit

Digital innovations as an answer to the shortage of skilled workers and ecological transformation

asphericon and partners present innovative solutions based on VR and AI

Jena, November 2023: Three innovative SMEs from Thuringia will present themselves in a top-class panel discussion at the Digital Summit in Jena from November 20th to 21st. Under the title “VR headset and AI on! Game changer in the shortage of skilled workers and ecological transformation?”, innovative approaches based on VR and AI to overcome the shortage of skilled workers and accelerate the ecological transformation will be presented.

“Our panel discussion at the Jena Digital Summit brings together Thuringian SMEs to present solutions for the current challenges facing German industry. Concrete practical examples will show how and where innovative technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are used. In addition to success factors and prerequisites for the use of technology, limitations and alternative approaches will also be discussed,” says Christian Schädlich, research associate at the Center for Digital Transformation Thuringia (ZeTT) and organizer of the panel.

On November 21st from 10:00-10:45 a.m. in lecture hall 1 at Ernst-Abbe-Platz 8 in Jena, Sven R. Kiontke, CEO of the Jena-based optics company asphericon GmbH, Dr. Alexander Kulig, Managing Director of Consensive GmbH (Weimar), and Martin Seidler, Head of Research at Ifesca GmbH (Ilmenau), will provide insights into digital solutions for the labor and skilled worker problem as well as the energy price crisis. Christian Schädlich (ZeTT) will present current research results on the ecological orientation and willingness of Thuringian SMEs to use AI.

“The importance of digital innovations in connection with the shortage of skilled workers and ecological change cannot be overemphasized. As a digitally oriented company, asphericon GmbH has been working on software-based solutions for the efficient design of work processes along the entire value chain for more than 20 years. With Consensive GmbH, Ifesca GmbH and ZeTT, we have strong partners at our side with whom we are already working intensively on groundbreaking solutions, for example for the rapid integration of career changers and the development of AI-based energy management,” explains Sven R. Kiontke.

In addition to Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the organizing Federal Ministers Dr. Robert Habeck (Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection) and Dr. Volker Wissing (Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport), numerous other Federal Ministers and high-ranking representatives from business, science and civil society are expected to attend the Digital Summit in Jena.

Further information on the Digital Summit Jena 2023 and registration for the panel discussion on November 21st, 2023 can be found here:

Contact for press inquiries

Manfred Füchtenkötter
Tel.: 0176-20744966
E-Mail: manfred.fuechtenkoetter@uni-jena.de

About the Digital Summit

The Digital Summit Jena 2023 is an event organized by the German Federal Government under the annual focus “Digital Transformation at the Turn of the Century. Sustainable. Risk-oriented. Future-oriented”. The City of Jena and the Free State of Thuringia are organizing the “Market of Digital Opportunities” with various exhibitors and events under the umbrella of the Digital Summit, which offers a platform to present the integration of digital technologies in various areas of life and to discuss their influence on the economy and society. The focus is on demonstrating concrete applications and solutions to make the abstract terms “digitalization” and “digital transformation” tangible and to illustrate their significance for everyday life.


As an independent and recognized specialist, asphericon is the technology leader in the field of optical systems. Production is based on a proprietary and patented technology for controlling CNC grinding and polishing machines. This technology is unique in the world and allows the production of small quantities as well as large series with high precision. asphericon supports its customers from optical design, production and coating, full-surface interferometric measurement and documentation to the assembly of optical components and their optical characterization.


Consensive GmbH is a spin-off of the Bauhaus University Weimar. The company develops high-performance graphics software, telepresence technologies and cooperative user interfaces. One of its main goals is the sustainable development and commercial exploitation of basic technologies for Social Mixed Reality. The company’s products and services range from consulting and specialized software modules for third parties to complete turnkey systems with service contracts.


ifesca GmbH was founded in Ilmenau in December 2016 and consists of a multidisciplinary team of experts with many years of experience in the energy industry. The company’s goal is to provide optimal support for decision-making processes by offering innovative software solutions, especially in the areas of forecasting and optimization, as well as related services. ifesca has developed two software applications, ifesca.AIVA® and ifesca.ADAM, which use artificial intelligence to help achieve completely new levels of efficiency while working in near real-time.

About ZETT

The ESF-funded Center for Digital Transformation Thuringia (ZeTT) analyzes current developments in the field of digitalization in Thuringia and their impact on the economy and the world of work. On this basis, it advises small and medium-sized companies in the state’s key sectors and develops and tests innovative teaching and learning concepts for identified training needs.

Contact asphericon GmbH

Dr. Thomas Hegenbart
Tel.: +49-3641-3100500
Fax: +49-3641-3100501
E-mail: event[at]aspherion.com