President Higgins announced as Patron of the International Year of Light in Ireland

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, has been announced as the IYL 2015 Ireland Patron. National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway is coordinating Ireland’s involvement and a series of events will take place across the country, and schools will be invited to learn more about the science of light and the contribution of light to our communities.

IYL 2015 represents a unique opportunity to marry science, engineering, medicine and the arts – particularly cinema and the fine arts. As part of the IYL 2015, children will have the chance to have their art projected onto walls in city centre locations and app enthusiasts will get access to new apps. Professor Leahy adds:Recent recognition by Science Foundation Ireland through the award of €30 million to establish the Irish Photonics Integration Centre, and a previous award from the Higher Education Authority of €30.5 million for the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform, demonstrate its continuing importance to Ireland and the Irish economy.

Leading this initiative in Ireland is Professor Martin Leahy from NUI Galway and he is the recipient for two funding awards from the European Union for these efforts.

Photonics is also recognised by the Irish Government as one of the six platform technologies and is directly underpinning many of the identified research priorities and, more recently, the €7 billion partnership between Photonics21 and the European Commission will have a substantial impact on future growth and job creation, and significantly assist the EU’s continued economic recovery.

For more information about upcoming IYL 2015 events in Ireland visit the Irish IYL 2015 website.

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