Germany's leading role in laser technology is not least a consequence of successful national precompetitive joint development projects between industry and science: Funding of laser technology in Germany is strongly performed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and has already been started in the second half of the eighties of last century. Since then several programs matched to the actual technological status and the future requirements of the market have been run: whilst activities have been focused on gas lasers in the beginning, today - in the actual research funding program "optical technologies" - semiconductor lasers and diode pumped lasers are in the center of interest. More than ever before relevance of the development to applications must be integrated into the projects. Consequently, in most projects lasers source development and application of novel brilliant laser sources are combined. This has been successfully performed in the BRIOLAS (Brilliant Diode Lasers) initiative, which has been launched in 2004 and will come to an end in 2010. Based on the knowledge and experience gained in the 13 projects of the BRIOLAS initiative, two new initiatives have been launched in 2008, namely INLAS (Integrated Optical Components for High Power Laser Beam Sources) and MABRILAS (Material Processing with Brilliant Laser Beam Sources).© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.