International Year of Light
+ Light-Based Technologies

The Closing Ceremony, Switzerland, December 5th, 2015


Lausanne to host International Year of Light celebration


On December 5, EPFL will host an event to promote the progress and promise of light technologies and research. The program will mark the Closing Ceremony of the International Year of Light in Switzerland and will feature the latest in photonics as well as leading scientists to promote improved public understanding of the central role of light in the modern world.

This celebration will bring together bright minds from Google X, Bell Labs, Intel, Philips, Heptagon, UNESCO, Solar Impulse or IBM Research among other, as well as an ESA astronaut and a Nobel Laureate, to foster learning, inspiration and wonder. A laser show and performances will punctuate the ceremony specially hosted by The Catalyst's creative scientists. Don’t miss the surprise visible from space that day!


The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015; is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.


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Our Keynote Speakers


The ceremony will be hosted by the creative scientists of The Catalyst.

Anais Rassat, Astrophysicist and Science Communicator
Claude Nicollier, Astronaut @ European Space Agency (ESA)
Sebastien Bigo, Bell Labs fellow and Activity Leader @ Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs
Bernard Kress, Moonshots & Principal Optical Architect @ Google X, Google [X] Labs
Bert Jan Offrein, Manager Photonics @ IBM Research Zurich
Jean-Pierre Wolf, Biophotonics professor @ University of Geneva
Stefan W. Hell, Nobel Prize 2014 in Chemistry
Kees van der Klauw, Head of Research @Philips Lighting
Mark Pauly, Head of the Computer Graphics and Geometry lab and Prof. @ EPFL
Solar Impulse, Around the world to promote clean technologies
Markus Rossi, Chief Innovation Officer, CTO @ Heptagon
Joe Niemela, UNESCO, member of the International Year of Light steering committee
John Dudley, Chairman of the IYL 2015 steering committee, Professor
Christoph Harder, President of Swissphotonics, Delegate for EuroPho21
Christophe Moser, Professor of Microengineering and Industrial Relation, Swissphotonics
Christophe P. Rossel, President of the European Physical Society, Emeritus Research
 Staff member @ IBM Research
Minh Quang Tran, President of the Swiss Physical Society and EPFL Professor

Selected Photonics startups pitches


Don't miss our laser show, Laser Harp performance, LIDAR demo (Pr. Simeonov) and closing cocktail



After the Ceremony, take the time to go downtown and enjoy the Festival Lausanne Lumières ! 

VENUE: Forum Rolex, EPFL (lausanne, CH)
Date: December 5, 2015

Doors open at 4:00pm
Ceremony starts at 4:30pm
Cocktail and flying dinner at 7:30pm


Capacity is limited and hence attendance at the Closing Ceremony is strictly by registration only.




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