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Posted: September 2, 2010
Nanotechnology-enabled solar energy harvesting: Building the supply chain
(Nanowerk News) The Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the UK have jointly allocated up to £7m to invest in highly innovative, collaborative research projects looking at the use of novel nanoscale technologies to enable the next generation of solar energy harvesting. Up to £2m will be invested by the Technology Strategy Board and up to £5m by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The competition is targeting business-led projects focussed on organic/dye-sensitised solar cells and water splitting devices. This is to address challenges in building the supply chain and scaling up technologies, from proof of concept laboratory devices to technology demonstration in a representative environment. Projects will be covering basic to applied research and development in nanotechnology-enabled technologies.
The aim is to ensure that the UK can become an early competitive adopter of these novel technologies and rapidly meet the urgent and difficult challenges posed within the global energy sector.
This joint competition builds upon earlier investments by the RCUK nanoscience programme (led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) which invested £6.7m in early stage research in this area. It also builds on investments into researching the challenges of cost reduction and improvements in efficiency through the RCUK Energy Programme in 2008.
The competition is open to business-led consortia who will help develop the UK supply chain and the skills needed to deploy these technologies globally. Participants are expected to build upon previous investments in this area through new and existing collaborations. However, we will consider applications that do not have current or proposed relationships with previous investments, but only if there is a very strong business case to do so. This activity will contribute strongly to the UK's 2050 targets for renewable energy as well as growing significant business opportunities for UK companies both at home and abroad.