Renewable Capital to License Konarka’s Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell TechnologyJuly 30, 2006 by Jeff Shepard
Konarka Technologies, Inc. and Renewable Capital Ltd. announced the licensing and joint development of Konarka's dye-sensitized solar cell technology for large-scale production. The agreement will further the commercialization of Konarka's dye cell technology by bringing on large-scale production capabilities. Renewable Capital has committed resources, capital and equipment to their development activities. This includes the enlistment of services from Coatema, a world-renowned manufacturer of first-of-kind coating equipment.
"This is a key milestone in that Renewable Capital's investment validates the progress we have made in the development of high volume manufacturing methods for the dye sensitized process," commented Howard Berke, Chairman and CEO for Konarka. "The non-exclusive relationship with Renewable Capital will enable for the large-scale manufacturing production and scale-up of Konarka's dye-sensitized solar cell technology. With this partnership, we are continuing to execute on our strategy to partner with leading global companies."
In 2002, Konarka was granted licensee rights to dye-sensitized solar cell technology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL). As a result, Konarka leveraged its own intellectual property in conjunction with the EPFL license, to expedite the commercialization of its photovoltaic (PV) technology. The EPFL's dye-sensitized technology was developed by Dr. Michael Graetzel, and enables PV technology to create energy across a broad spectrum of light, both indoors and outdoors. Konarka significantly enhanced the technology and process development based on the company's own inventions and exclusive, worldwide licensing rights to proprietary processes that enable production at lower temperatures, serving as the foundation for extremely low manufacturing costs.
Renewable Capital selected Coatema as its manufacturing partner due to its more than 30 years in the laminating and coating equipment industry. The company boasts the largest research and development center for coating and laminating in Europe. As part of the agreement, Renewable Capital will have ongoing access to Konarka's dye-cell technology, as it is developed. It anticipates the technology will scale to several hundred megawatts.