Kyocera jumps aboard imec's solar cell R&D program

Japanese high-tech electronics country Kyocera has joined imec’s industrial affiliation program (IIAP) that is intended to explore the advancement of next-generation crystalline silicon solar cells.

Imec – a Belgian nanoelectonics research center – has launched the multi-affiliate program to explore ways to lower the cost for solar energy through efficiency of cells and modules. The center has invested in R&D aimed at innovative industry-relevant solutions that aim to reach efficiencies of 25%.

The IIAP is designed to create a research ecosystem that will accelerate the development of intellectual property, and share the risk and resources associated with R&D among the affiliates. The hope is that this knowledge sharing will facilitate more collaboration between companies, including solar cell manufacturers and imec’s own solar experts.

"We are excited that Kyocera, a powerhouse in the solar manufacturing business, has joined our research program," said imec president and CEO Luc Van den Hove. "The commitment from Kyocera is a confirmation of the significance of our solar cell research for the global PV market.

"It is my strongest conviction that only by investing in R&D and innovation, companies can prepare for the future and stay ahead of the competition in a challenging environment such as the PV market."

Kyocera’s senior executive office and general manager of the Corporate Solar Energy Group at Koycera Corporation, Nobuo Kitamura, added that the company hopes the affiliation partners on the IIAP will work together to advance silicon PV cell technologies, with the ultimate goal being to make solar energy more accessible and usable for society.

"As a pioneer of solar energy with more than four decades of experience, Kyocera remains committed to promoting the further use of solar power generation, and we believe that the IIAP provides us with these opportunities by bringing together the expertise from leaders in the industry," said Kitamura.