The International Year of Light and light-based technologies is a global initiative of a large consortium of internationally active scientific organizations together with UNESCO. The United Nations proclaimed the Year of Light to highlight the importance of light-based technologies to a wider audience.
Jena shone bright during the „International Year of Light“ proclaimed by the UNESCO. A colourful programme with around 80 activities, events and projects demonstrated in 2015 how diverse “light” can be here. Especially memorable was the science festival “Highlights of Physics” in September with approximately 53,000 visitors – a new record attendance. A group of local stakeholders worked closely together throughout the year designing the programme. Including the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, numerous local businesses (ZEISS, Jenoptik, SCHOTT, but also many small and medium-sized companies), Photonics Network OptoNet e.V., Friedrich Schiller University, University of Applied Sciences „Ernst Abbe“, Optical Museum and Zeiss-Planetarium as well as the City of Jena with Jena Business Development and JenaKultur.
Stakeholders of business and science location Jena contributed to the International Year of Light with an event programme tailored to the topics described by the DPG (German Physics Society). The DPG was leading the coordination of national activities. Jena Business coordinated the activities in Jena.
One of the objectives was to interest and inspire the young generation for study programmes and apprenticeships in the scientific, technical and optical fields. Another, to inform the professional audience as well as a wider public about the importance of optical and photonic technologies from Jena to find solutions for future challenges. Therefore, activities especially emphasized Jena's long-standing tradition in the optics and photonics industry.
"For the rest of my life I will reflect on what light is."
- Albert Einstein