“The German photonics industry has a leading global role to lose”
Politics meets business for joint dialog
Dieter Janecek, Member of the Bundestag, is the spokesman for the digital economy and digital transformation for the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group which is part of the federal government since the fall 2021 elections. In this role, he visited the near-Munich-based company Toptica. In addition to topics such as Germany’s role in the international technology environment or the current employment market issues, the problems with export controls were also discussed.
During the discussion with the Member of the Bundestag Janecek, the two members of Toptica’s executive board Dr Kaenders and Dr Renner discussed Germany’s special role as a high-tech country, especially regarding the increasingly important quantum technology, in the development of which Toptica has played a central role internationally for years. The successful recruitment and transfer of skilled personnel from abroad was an important topic. In particular, the unclear regulations in export control and sanction testing were addressed. These are necessary, but lead to months, often years of uncertainty for the company, and thus impair the strongly export-oriented German high-tech SMEs in their globally leading role.
“The growth potential of photonics is enormous,” explained Renner. “According to the German industry association Spectaris, experts forecast average annual growth of more than six percent and total sales of almost sixty billion euros by 2025 for the German photonics industry alone. However, political and economic restrictions on the subject of personnel recruitment from non-EU countries, as well as export controls and complex sanctions checks, are slowing down economic growth.” Company founder Kaenders added that Toptica, even in the crisis years, could show growth rates of twenty percent, but is currently affected by external factors, such as supply bottlenecks and shortage of skilled personnel, so that they would like to see greater clarity at least in the formal processes.
“Getting this information from the people on the front lines is really important for our process,” says Janecek, who is also a member of the Bundestag’s Committee on Economic Affairs. “We are aware of the special role played by small and medium-sized businesses in Germany, and we are always pleased to receive relevant categorizations. We promote our ideas for an ecologically oriented economy together with the companies. Many board members and managers are already taking advantage of these dialogues because they long for a reliable political framework, and not just for climate protection.”
Finally during his visit, Mr Janecek was shown current Toptica laser systems for the construction of state-of-the-art quantum computers, which are developed and produced in special clean rooms in Graefelfing just outside Munich.
For Janecek, as a parliamentary group spokesman, the ecological transformation of the economy is one of his main goals. In an exemplary manner, the MP used public transportation to proceed to his next appointment.