An Open Letter to the Photonics Industry

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John Dudley

Join with us in 2015 to raise international awareness of how photonic technologies can solve global challenges.

It is a tremendous honor for us that photonics has been recognized by the United Nations with its own international year. In proclaiming the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL) in 2015, the United Nations has recognized that photonic technologies are vital to solving challenges in areas such as energy, communications and medicine, and in ensuring sustainable development worldwide.

We all have to realize that next year is a once-only opportunity. The mandate of the International Year of Light gives us a truly unique chance to raise global awareness of the importance of photonics.

The scientific community has made a tremendous start, with engineers, physicists and astronomers worldwide already making plans for actions ranging from high-level events with Nobel laureates to beautiful light-art installations and public citizen-science campaigns to measure energy waste from light pollution. Please browse the fantastic website at to get an overview of what is under way.

But IYL is not just about universities and professional societies. Industry has an absolutely vital role in working with us to inspire the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce of the future and to explain to politicians and decision makers that photonics is an essential economic driver requiring continued support and R&D investment. To this end, we are inviting companies large and small to enter into a partnership with us and to join the International Year of Light community.

Involvement in IYL as an official partner will give a truly unique level of visibility and exposure to new customers and communities of scientists and engineers worldwide. Join the over 100 organizations that are already involved, including industry leaders such as Philips Lighting and Thorlabs, who have become patron sponsors. There will be opportunities to get involved throughout 2015, but joining in before the end of 2014 will ensure a place at the global opening ceremony to be held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Jan. 19-20, 2015.This event will be a spectacular celebration of light science and technology, bringing together Nobel laureates, CEOs, and 1500 dignitaries and leaders from the global scientific community.

To learn how to become involved with this truly exciting project, please email our secretariat at [email protected], or contact me personally at the address below.

The International Year of Light is a great responsibility for us, as we will never again have the opportunity to promote the science of photonics on the global stage with such a strong political mandate. And the only way to really ensure its success will be to work together. We only get one chance!

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies
[email protected]

Published: October 2014
industrialAmericasBiophotonicsAsia-PacificEuropeImagingInternational Year of LightIYL2015Laserslight pollutionlight speedLight Technologieslight-based technologiesOpticsphotonics industrySTEMlight-artBioScanBusiness

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