By Anthony Capkun
April 10, 2014 – Royal Philips has stepped up to the plate to become the first Patron Sponsor of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). proclaimed by the United Nations’ General Assembly 68th Session, IYL 2015 is an initiative of a consortium of scientific bodies, with UNESCO as lead agency.
“IYL 2015 is a celebration of light,” noted Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society and a member of the IYL 2015 Steering Committee, adding that “Companies like Philips will be well-served by joining this ever-growing year-long focus, with the ability to showcase their breakthroughs, applications and light-inspired experiences with the world.”
In proclaiming an ‘International Year’ focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations says it has “recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development, and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health”.
As a patron sponsor, Philips will participate in high-level Round Tables during the Opening Ceremony at UNESCO HQ in January 2015 (and at other events during the year) discussing the need for innovative lighting solutions. It will also support an IYL 2015 program called “Study after Sunset”, promoting the use of portable solar-powered LED lanterns in regions of the world with little or no reliable source of light.
“The transformative power of light is immense as we have seen over the last 120 years of Philips’ history,” said Harry Verhaar, head of global public and government affairs at Philips Lighting. “2015 and the International Year of Light presents the opportunity to realize the potential of recent innovations in light to benefit people both socially and economically…”