Leading nanoelectronics research center imec and Kaneka, a Japanese leading manufacturer of chemical specialties and solar cells, announced that they have signed a new three-year framework agreement that strengthens and extends their comprehensive R&D collaboration. Next to working on next generation solar cells, under this frame agreement imec and Kaneka will explore new applications in life science and thin-film electronics.
Beginning with the incorporation of Kaneka’s Photovoltaics European Laboratory at the imec campus in Leuven in 2009, Kaneka has benefited the past six years from imec’s longstanding expertise in photovoltaics. Imec’s unique knowledge, capabilities and facilities for silicon solar cells have supported Kaneka’s advancements in innovating high efficiency solar cells. Kaneka has recently announced a record of 25.1% efficiency for both side contacted crystalline Silicon solar cell with copper contact metallization in industrial size
This new frame agreement on the one hand validates the successful PV collaboration, while it also underscores the mutual benefits both companies see in other fields. Imec has built-up an impressive track record of innovative developments in life sciences and wearable biomedical applications, bringing medical-quality diagnostics to the patient. Using its thin-film electronics technology developed in cooperation with Holst Centre (set up by imec and TNO (The Netherlands)), imec will further optimize such applications in flexible, stretchable and low cost solutions.
“Such roadmap is fully in-line with Kaneka’s ambitions and strategy for future products”, says Kaneka’s Chairman of the Board, Mr. Kimikazu Sugawara. “It is crucially important to collaborate with advanced research institutes to cope with today’s competitive world where speed is key to innovation. We very much esteem imec’s world-leading position and are looking forward to identifying together with imec new product developments for Kaneka”, he continues.
“Collaboration plays a crucial role in pushing forward the development of innovative solutions, and we are extremely pleased that Kaneka has made imec a key partner for its advanced research,” stated Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at imec. “This agreement validates our R&D offering in high efficiency solar cell technology, life sciences and thin-film electronics, and we are confident that our new frame agreement will lead to promising results in the future.”