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Posted: Jan 28, 2011

Arkema and INES Set Up the First Joint Research Laboratory Dedicated to Polymers for Photovoltaics

(Nanowerk News) Arkema and CEA teams from INES (Institut National de l'Energie Solaire) have joined forces to create in France the first private/public mixed research laboratory dedicated to the development of polymer materials for the various photovoltaic module technologies.
With their innovation potential, polymers contribute to the development of photovoltaic panels, in particular to protect their components and increase their performance and lifetime. Arkema has been active in this market since 2001 by offering technical plastics designed to fulfil two objectives: extend the lifetime of panels, and make their manufacture quicker and cheaper. Building on this expertise, Arkema has decided to boost its research by joining forces with CEA on the INES site near Chambéry (Savoie) in order to play a part in the improvement of photovoltaic panel technologies.
This new joint laboratory will pool Arkema's expertise in polymers, polymer films and nanomaterials, with the expertise of the INES CEA teams in design and in development processes for innovative photovoltaic modules, silicon and thin layers. This cooperation venture will be in place for an initial 4-year period.
This structure will help expand the technological offering of the photovoltaic sector in France, as well as its competitiveness in this strategic area.
A global chemical company and France's leading chemicals producer, Arkema is building the future of the chemical industry every day. Deploying a responsible, innovation-based approach, we produce state-of-the-art specialty chemicals that provide customers with practical solutions to such challenges as climate change, access to drinking water, the future of energy, fossil fuel preservation and the need for lighter materials. With operations in more than 40 countries, 14,000 employees and 8 research centers, Arkema generates annual revenue of €5.8 billion and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands. The world is our inspiration.
INES was founded in 2006 following a memorandum of understanding between Conseil Général de la Savoie, Rhône-Alpes Region, CEA, CNRS, CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment), and Université de Savoie. Its ambition is to bring together the majority of France's players in solar energy research, and already over 200 researchers from CEA, CNRS and Université de Savoie are working on the site (near Chambéry). Eventually, over 500 researchers, engineers, technicians and instructors will be working for INES, making it a European leader and a worldwide reference in solar energy. INES research topics cover the entire value creation chain for solar systems and their integration in buildings.
Source: Arkema (press release)
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