The foundation of the Otto-Schott-Institut (Institut für Glaschemie) at the Chemical Faculty of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena was closely connected with the appointment of Werner Vogel as a full professor of glass chemistry in 1966. Within the University of Jena, founded already in 1558, glass science could therefore be renewed and continued within the tradition of Otto Schott, Ernst Abbe and Carl Zeiss. Under sometimes difficult conditions, the institute was built up and developed, especially with respect to the education of young glass scientists for research and industry. After retirement of Prof. Dr. W. Vogel at the end of 1990, Prof. Dr. Wolfram Höland was the director of the Otto-Schott-Institut for one year and subsequently Dr. Wolfgang Götz until October 1992. At the end of 1992 Prof. Dr. Christian Rüssel was appointed as full professor of glass chemistry and director of the Otto-Schott-Institut.
In the meantime, the Otto-Schott-Institut developed to a medium size research and education institution with about 70 co-workers. As one of the very few institutes in East Germany, the number of co-workers did not decrease in the past few years but increased by about 20. Since simultaneously, the number of both scientists and technicians paid by the university decreased drastically, numerous contracts had to be acquired.
Within the same time, however, a break down of the industry in East Germany occurred, and hence the traditional cooperation with the East German glass industry could not be continued. New cooperations had to be built up with companies in West Germany and funds of science foundations had to be acquired. Here the scientific topics had to be brought to a wider base. A project of special importance is an innovation program, founded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Science Foundation) entitled „Glass ceramics with new properties". Within the two years under report, the first new products developed in the Otto-Schott-Institut after the German Unification were transferred into industrial production.
In the past few years, the equipment was systematically renewed. The government funds were of special importance and enabled acquisition of both a new scanning and a new transmission electron microscope. A large variety of apparatuses, however, were also financed by contracts.
In the past two years, also a successful development of international cooperations could be achieved and numerous glass scientists, especially from Eastern Europe could be invited to stay some months in Jena. Also encouraging was the number and duration of scientific stays of co-workers of the Otto-Schott-Institrut at research institutions abroad.