27 Mar 2014
Anniversary of speed-of-light standard will be marked with celebration of photonics - and warm up for IYOL 2015.EPIC, the European Photonics Industry Consortium, announced at its recent annual general meeting that a "day of photonics" will take place this year on October 21.
The organisation is hopeful that many of the estimated 5000 European photonics-related companies, as well as others around the world will hold “open houses” and diverse educational and informative events to promote the industry.
Drew Nelson, president of EPIC, commented “EPIC recognizes how essential it is to present the endless opportunities that our industry provides to the general public. I am proud that EPIC is embarking on this initiative and look forward to spreading the word about our innovative and dynamic industry.”
The date commemorates the 31st anniversary of the General Conference of Weights and Measures adopting the value of 299,792.458 km/s for the speed of light in 1983. This feature concerns all photonics technologies, and is not attached to one particular country, therefore an ideal occasion for marking a technology that encompasses fields as broad as photovoltaic solar energy, lasers, LED lighting, displays, optical communications, and all photonics technologies.
Carlos Lee, Director General of EPIC.
“We will be marketing and promoting a range of photonics activities including through local and international media. As well as open houses at appropriate companies, we will be encouraging companies to gather with their employees and partners to celebrate the significant achievements and growing importance of photonics.”
The day – which follows the Brussels institutions’ convention of themed days for different sectors of industry and community activities – will include outreach to the general public, ranging from local authorities, students, investors, and other stakeholders.
Lee added, “Our intention is to show the applications of the photonics industry, to communicate the breadth of the photonics applications and the pervasiveness and the importance. Thus illustrating why the European Commission classified photonics as a Key Enabling Technology and why public authorities will benefit of supporting this emerging industry that will inevitably be as important as the electronics industry.
This year’s event will be complementary to the following year’s International Year of Light 2015 initiative. John Dudley, Chairman of the IYL Steering Committee, commented, “There will be several preparatory actions leading up to the International Year of Light 2015, and I am delighted to see the initiative taken by EPIC to promote an industry-wide 'day Of photonics'.
”This is a perfect example of an action for 2014 that is not only exciting and interesting on its own but also feeds-in perfectly to our aspirations for 2015 to demonstrate innovation in light technology in a tangible manner and to promote new public-industry engagement.”
About the Author
Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.