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Perspectives on Light – Interaction between Academia and Industry

The inaugural Light Collaboration Network symposium took place online earlier this month.

The first LCN symposium Perspectives on Light – Interaction between Academia and Industry on 3rd June 2021 began the public work of the network to encourage and accelerate conversations between professionals involved in working with light: be it in research, industry, education, architecture or design.

A panel drawn from industry and academia came together to discuss the challenges faced in realising potential commercial and health benefits from light research and the opportunities for increasing education and communication across professional boundaries.

In total 50 participants created an interesting discussion and the themes which emerged can be summarised under the following headings:


  • Science is a method, not a result and it requires help from industry in financing ongoing projects. This can be helped by more collaboration, transparency and access to academic information.
  • Time is a constraint for everyone, how can industry be encouraged and enabled to spend more time learning effectively about new research?
  • There is always a risk that small seeds of research can be over-interpreted by industry looking for the ‘next big thing’.


Some ideas around improving education and knowledge exchange:

  • Improved access to academic publications
  • More awareness amongst academia about how to write with industry and end users in mind
  • What opportunities are there to increase knowledge transfer to industry through Continuing Professional Development activities?
  • There’s a role for a ‘translator’, someone who can stand between the research and its commercial implementation.
  • Journal clubs have proved popular in other sectors. Can regular meetings be established to update industry partners with research in an accessible format?

End users

  • There was a lot of focus on the end users: the clients. Often the cost of specified solutions can be deemed to be too expensive and end users don’t always understand what ‘good’ light is and it can become expendable after the design stage.
  • There’s a need for easy control systems, of which the end user can see the value.
  • Light is measurable and reports can be produced, but they can’t tell the whole story when it comes to user experience. How can we use evidence and research to quantify ‘good’ light design in a way which encourages its adaptation by clients and facility managers?

Interaction between Academia and Industry

The discussion brought up a variety of ideas for where the Light Collaboration could be involved in responding to the challenges identified:

  • Open Innovation Workshops
  • Common Research projects to help bridge the gap between academia and industry
  • Seek out case studies of research that has been implemented successfully
  • More common discussions and events, both online and physical

Perspectives on Light – Interaction between Academia and Industry


Mikael Castanius, Belysningsbranschen

Christofer Silfvenius, Energimyndigheten

Panelists from academia:

Katharina Wulff, Umeå University

Ute Besenecker, KTH

Myriam Aries, Jönköping University

Hillevi Hemphälä, Lund Tekniska Högskola

Johannes Lindén, Lund Tekniska Högskola

Maria Eriksson, Umeå University

Panelists from industry:

Jim Collin, Annell Ljus och Form

Johan Niléhn, Regionsfastigheter Region Skåne

Johan Röklander, Jönköping Tekniska Högskola (regarding lighting design practice and education)

Peder Wibom, CEBE Belysning

Per Vesterlund, Novemberbolaget

Rodrigo Muro, KTH (regarding lighting design practice and education)

Isabel Villar, White Arkitekter


13:00 – 13:15


An introduction to the Light Collaboration Network

13:15 – 13:45

Co-presentation From Academia

13:45 – 13:50


13:50 – 14:20

Industry Presentations

14:20 – 15:00

Panel Discussion

Applied Research and Innovation

  • When should research be commercialised?
  • How to balance requirements with regards to visual, beyond visual and comfort?
  • Can the industry produce longer living luminaires without running out of business?
15:00 – 15:10


15:10 – 15:50

Panel Discussion

Education and Communication

  • What are your questions to the ‘other side’? (regarding language, standards)
  • How can the academy make use of the proven experience from industry?
  • How do we integrate research in practice-based education?
15:50 – 16:00

Thank You and Goodbye

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