The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 Closing Ceremony

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) will be officially closed on 4-6 February 2016 with a three-day Closing Ceremony in Mérida, Mexico. The Closing Ceremony will review all key themes of the year, discuss about the main activities organized during the year and the topics that acted as inspiration for events worldwide during 2015 to raise awareness of the importance of light-based technologies in providing solutions to worldwide challenges in areas such as energy, education, communications and health.


The speakers and attendees will include international diplomats and decision-makers, Nobel laureates, CEOs, and science and industry leaders from across the globe.

On 4 February, the ceremony will begin with opening addresses by international political leaders. The Nobel laureates Shuji Nakamura (‘Road Toward the New Light - The Invention of High Efficient Blue LEDs and Future Lighting') will give a pleanary lecture during this day. The programme will also include an overview of the International Year of Light by the IYL 2015 Steering Committee Chair John Dudley. During the day there will also be different thematic sessions: a session about light in health and life sciences; another session on the history of optics; and three parallel workshops on 'Light in the Built environment, Light in Architecture', 'Science Education and Outreach through Light' and 'New Sources of Light for Research and Applications'.

On 5 February, the highligth of the day will be the plenary lectures of the Nobel Laureate John Mather (‘Learning about the Universe’). Other parts of the programme will include a session on research in optics and photonics, light in the arts and parallel workshops on light pollution, the links between industry and academia and harvesting solar energy. The day will be closed with open-air cultural activities in the city of Mérida.

On 6 February, there will be two more panels with discussions about Cultural Heritage as well as discussion between panel members, including questions and comments from the audience, covering the ways in which light enriches our daily lives and offers solution to problems of global scale. The Closing Ceremony will be wrapped up with summary report of workshops and panel sessions. The day will be closed with a visit to the Mayan Archaeological Site of Chichen Itza where participants will assist to two conferences about archeoastronomy in the Mayan culture.

For more information on the Programme click here.

You can watch the Opening Ceremony online on the this link.


And also you can be active part of the Closing Ceremony. An interactive world map projection – designed by the Offenburg University (Germany) – will be able to be seen on the wall space at the Convention Center, showing the online community celebrating the Closing of the Year! The projection is based on tweets with hashtag #IYL2015.

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.


IYL 2015 Closing Ceremony Organizing Committee

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