WITec GmbH marked a quarter century since its founding with a party on Friday, 1 July 2022. The company hosted old friends and new colleagues for an evening of reflection, fellowship and fun. The event, “WITec Jubilee—25 Years in Focus”, began with founders Joachim Koenen and Olaf Hollricher recounting the origin of the firm and its progression from a start-up to a globally recognised leader in Raman microscopy.
“We decided early on that our motto would be ‘Focus Innovations’ because it described what we wanted to achieve”, says Dr Koenen. “Our approach, and really the key to our success is right there, hard work and creativity. I’m very appreciative of everyone here and proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.”
The company has grown organically from a University of Ulm spin-off in 1997 into a thriving business with an extensive record of innovation in 2022. A building expansion that doubles the capacity of the current headquarters will enable the company to keep up with strong demand for its products. The official key handover ceremony for this new facility took place at the party and Dr Jan Stefan Roell, Head of the Ulm Chamber of Industry and Commerce, presented a certificate recognising the company’s achievement.
The evening’s keynote address was given by Prof. Dr Wolfgang Kiefer, a renowned figure who has shaped Raman spectroscopy in Europe as no other over the past fifty years. He is also an enthusiastic promoter of the legacy of C.V. Raman, who won the 1930 Nobel Prize for describing the effect that bears his name. In a particularly emotional moment, Prof. Dr Kiefer presented WITec’s founders with a watercolour portrait of Sir Raman painted from life by Prof. Dr Josef Behringer during Raman’s only visit to Germany in 1956.
“That stunned me. We’re so grateful, so honoured by this gift. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was a monumental physicist and an inspiring man”, says Dr Hollricher. “It’s truly moving to look at that wonderful painting and feel a direct connection to the discoverer himself.”
Following the presentation of the portrait, during dinner, amidst dancing and into the night, WITec team members reminisced about the path that led to this milestone, and talked excitedly about the way forward for the next twenty-five years.