Spain celebrates its closing ceremony of the International Year of Light

The Closing Ceremony of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) in Spain took place at the Auditorium of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) on Tuesday, November 24. The Chairman of the IYL 2015 Steering Committee of the International Year of Light, John Dudley, attended to the ceremony. And also renowned personalities of the academic and business sectors related to light and technologies.


In his speech, John Dudley thanked the involvement of Spain, a country that "has been one of the first to support the initiative for an International Year of the light". Then he gave a 30-minute conference entitled "1000 years of optics, 50 years of solitons". He addressed the topic of optical solitons, one of the research areas because of which he has received greater international recognition.

In another speech of the ceremony, the President of the Spanish IYL 2015 Committee, Maria Josefa Yzuel, showcased the role of light and its associated technologies "to address global challenges such as health, welfare, energy efficiency, sustainable development and access to information ".

Additionally Maria Josefa Yzuel greatly appreciated that the activities under the International Year of Light "reached more than one million people". So, according to her, this is has been an “excellent initiative to spread scientific culture society and encourage vocations to scientific careers."

The president of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela also participated in the event. Both of them, in their speeches, asserted the need to promote science in society.

After the session, attendees could enjoy the lighting show "Catch your shadow", thanks to the Professional Association of Lighting Designers (APDI). The show consisted of taking photos of the “shadows” of the participants.

A year full of light with more than 300 activities

The Spanish Committee of the International Year of Light promotes an organized plan of initiatives throughout Spain and also participates in the dissemination of initiatives promoted by other external entities to commemorate this anniversary.

Since the beginning of 2015 around 300 initiatives have been carried out to bring the science of light and light technologies to the public. Many of these initiatives have included different actions. Therefore globally there have been more than a thousand events to celebrate the International Year of Light.

The activities have been very diverse: conferences, seminars, industry meetings, educational activities, artistic events, competitions, special awards, etc. Also there has been extensive dissemination through articles published in newspapers and broadcast on TV interviews and radio. Some of these activities are 22 series of conferences, 14 congresses, 50 informative talks, 50 activities oriented students, 45 divulgation and 37 art events.

A multitude of resources have been generated in all type of media to bring the phenomenon of light and its associated technologies to society. Examples of this are around 57 informative posters (free download), 37 popularizing articles published in print and online press, 31 scientific videos and 7 special publications issued on the occasion of this anniversary.

You can see the full list of activities and the agenda under the web

Institutional and business support

The Spanish Committee of the International Year of Light has been collecting various business and institutional support. To highlight, the creation of the Spanish Committee of Honor of the International Year of Light, composed of important personalities from the academic and business worlds, and chaired by Her Majesty Queen Letizia.

On the business side, several companies, such as Red Electrica of Spain, Iberdrola, Lasing, Ambilamp and MTB Lasing Precision Technology, related with light and its technologies have collaborated with the Spanish Committee of International Year of Light through the sponsorship program provided for this purpose.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.


Sergio Barbero
Secretariat Spanish Committee
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015