Russian Lighting Research Institute named after S.I. Vavilov


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The history of VNISI

The history of VNISI extends back over 60 years. It is impossible to separate the history of the Institute from the dynamic history of our country and its society. Every period in the history of the Institute was heralded by scientific and technological breakthroughs.

During the years of Institute’s formation (the 1950-s) the goals and objectives were being set, the organization, scientific fields of interest and organized body of researchers were being structured.

The activity of the institute during that period could be characterized as mostly theoretical and experimental research. It consisted basically in following up the research initiated by the lighting engineers of the Soviet National Electrotechnical Institute and Central Lighting Engineering Design Bureau. Those engineers became the first research team of VNISI. The basic areas of work included the methods and equipment for lighting technology measurements; lighting systems for various purposes in industrial and public buildings, research on light sources, control gear and control elements, regulations and design engineering of lighting installations, developing new lighting technology media.

During the 1960-s the Institute becomes a leading research organization in the field of lighting technology. The scope of design and experimental works of the Institute is expanding in the fields of light sources and lighting fixtures for various purposes. Practical ties with manufacturing facilities are strengthening.

In 1968 the Institute was transformed into the Soviet Lighting Research, Design and Engineering Technological Institute (VNISI) with a Pilot-producing Plant (OZ VNISI). VNISI was distinguished as a National Technical and Scientific center in Lighting Engineering.

The 1970-s and 1980-s could be rightfully called the years of adulthood for VNISI. These are the years of a rapid increase in the Institute’s research and technical, scientific and organizational activities. This is the time of the honored recognition of the Institute’s constructive and practical potential and the Institute is gaining reputation in the Soviet Union and in foreign Countries.

Obtaining a National Status meant that VNISI had now to perform works of a larger scale and significance. These works included developing and introducing new technological processes and special technological equipment; developing, producing and applying new materials, raising the level of scientific and organizational, coordinating activities in lighting engineering, developing international ties. This lead to formation of the required research and technical organizational units within the Institute.

The achievements of this time period include a series of implemented projects for architectural lighting and works on lighting maintenance of space stations and space flights and a lot of other activities. In 1976-1980 VNISI was a heading organization in lighting maintenance of the XXII Olympic Games in Moscow. During this period of time a series of solar simulator systems was created, including the largest in Europe device of this type that involved a development of the unique Xenon Metal Arc Lamp (DksRM).

In 1985-1990 the years of “Perestroika”, “accelerations” and “reforming” the Institute was gradually restructuring: the tasks and methods of work were changing. VNISI specialists were conducting a constant search for new ways of further quick enhancement of efficiency based upon developing the initiative and autonomy of organizational units and all of the researchers, improving organizational structures, raising the level of business relations with foreign partners and utilizing experience of the latter. However, preserving the experience of previous decades VNISI continues and expands the work upon developing lighting equipment for space missions: lighting and signaling devices for such spaceships as “Soyuz” and “Buran”, the “MIR” space station. The institute conducts research on photobiology, photoculture of plants in agriculture, new lighting systems for special purposes are being developed.

Over the last 20 years VNISI has become younger. It did change, but it managed to preserve a high scientific and technological potential. Our team includes 2 full-fledged members of the Russian Federation Academy of Electrical Sciences, 4 Doctors of Science, 16 Candidates of science and a team of highly qualified professionally trained specialists. Together with our country it survived a period of changes, and nowadays, moving forward, it focuses on the activity in the field of distinctive knowledge-intensive tasks, developing and introducing modern and energy efficient devices and light sources.