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25 June 2015

CEA Tech and Fraunhofer ISE strengthen cooperation by forming Virtual Lab

To strengthen the existing collaboration between the CEA's technological research unit CEA Tech in Grenoble and Chambery, France and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany, the two partners have concluded a collaboration agreement to create a common 'Virtual Lab', combining forces in near-industry research to further develop high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells, educate young scientists, and work together to develop prototypes of next-generation ultra-high-efficiency solar cells. The launch of the joint lab officially began in May with the signing of the collaboration agreement.

The main focus of the planned collaboration is to create the most efficient photovoltaic products possible. The existing expertise and infrastructure of CEA Tech in microelectronics and photovoltaics, through its two labs Leti and Liten, and of Fraunhofer ISE in epitaxy and solar cell development are being brought together in Virtual Lab with the common goal of developing new products and opening up new markets.

Aside from concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), the target markets include solar cells developed specifically for consumer devices as well as solar cells for the classic photovoltaic market. Research results from the collaboration will be presented to industry regularly. In the medium term, collaboration with industry will contribute significantly to financing the Virtual Lab. 

Both research institutes have long-standing experience in strategic partnerships, e.g. achieving the solar cell efficiency record of 46% in collaboration with their common business partner Soitec of Bernin, France. This work follows the SolarBond project between Fraunhofer ISE and France's Carnot-Institut, which was financed by Germany's Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as well as France's National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche - ANR) between 2009 and 2011. The solar cell was designed and developed under France's 'Invest for the Future' (Investissements d'Avenir) program GUEPARD.

Cooperation between Germany and France in high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells has already been acknowledged through CEA Tech (CEA-Leti) and Fraunhofer ISE in 2011 jointly receiving the German-French Industry Awards (AHK Chamber of Commerce). Mutual recognition between France and Germany of each other's research was demonstrated in 2010, when Frank Dimroth of Fraunhofer ISE received the Fondation Louis D award, the most important science award presented in France.

See related items:

Fraunhofer ISE, Soitec and Leti raise solar cell efficiency record from 44.7% to 46%

Fraunhofer and CEA-LETI researchers receive Franco-German Business Award

Fraunhofer ISE's Frank Dimroth receives French science prize

Tags: Fraunhofer ISE Leti Soitec CPV III-V multi-junction solar cells

Visit: www.ise.fraunhofer.de

Visit: www.cea-tech.fr

Visit: www.soitec.com

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