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The Fundação Rebikoff-Niggeler was established in 1994 on the Azores island of Faial by the German Joachim Jakobsen. The Azores government recognized it as a not-for-profit organization in 2000. Its goal is to continue the legacy of underwater pioneers Dimitri Rebikoff and Ada Rebikoff-Niggeler.
Dimitri Rebikoff, born 1921 in Paris, made revolutionary inventions in camera and diving technology. He died in Florida in 1997. Among his inventions are the electronic flash, a device to measure color temperatures, various camera systems, and the first diving robot to be controlled from the water surface. For decades, Rebikoff engaged in scientific competition with Jacques Cousteau and achieved considerable successes.
Ada Niggeler was born in 1913 in Grossaffoltern, Switzerland. She was a well-known photographer who depicted people, landscapes, and nature in her photographic reporting. In 1951, she and her husband Dimitri Rebikoff shifted their work focus on diving and underwater photography. She died at the age of 98.
Fundação Rebikoff-Niggeler was established to explore the undersea world around the Azores. The Foundation and its agents have extensive experience and professional background in deep-sea navigation. The Foundation and the Lula1000 project are mainly driven by Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen, who are continuing the research dynasty. Jakobsen's father was one of Rebikoff's closest collaborators. "I have been right in the middle of this work since my childhood. Rebikoff was my technical mentor," says Jakobsen. Based on his researcher genes, curiosity and love of freedom, Jakobsen dreamed of building a submersible even as a child. He later designed the Lula500 and has now cooperated with Germanische Lloyd to construct the Lula1000 within three years.