Solar photovoltaic (PV) company Konarka announced that its European subsidiaries, Konarka Austria in Linz, Austria, and Konarka Technologies AG in Zug, Switzerland, have been selected to participate in a consortium of leading European photovoltaic research agencies. Konarka will provide a key role in testing, evaluation, and manufacturing of a new breed of low-cost photovoltaic (PV) cells.Lowell, Massachusetts, – March 25, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The consortium of 13 technology, academic and manufacturing partners from across Europe will collaborate on a 30-month project called Molecular Orientation, Low Band Gap and New Hybrid Device Concepts for the Improvement of Flexible Organic Solar Cells, also known as MOLYCELL. “The goal of the MOLYCELL project is to overcome crucial obstacles for large-scale production of plastic solar cells,” said Daniel Patrick McGahn, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Konarka. “By bringing together Europe’s best scientists and business leaders in the field of solar technology, the program will focus on developing and manufacturing a new generation of organic photovoltaic materials having better efficiency, longer lifetime and a production cost far below those of competing technologies based on silicon. The total project budget is 4.6 Million Euros, with the European Union providing 2.5 Million Euros and the consortium partners contributing the remainder. The MOLYCELL project will focus on the development of two types of photovoltaic devices: all-organic solar cells and nanocrystal/organic hybrid solar cells. “By coordinating our areas of expertise across institutional and country boundaries, we can develop the breakthroughs needed to bring solar power to below 1 Euro per watt, which will open the way for it wide-spread adoption of a new source of power.” The consortium will bring together the established experts from both the polymer and dye-sensitized solar cell communities, with expertise in the design and synthesis of organic polymers, low temperature fabrication, and roll-to-roll manufacturing of materials. Konarka will provide its expertise in testing materials, evaluating costs, and developing manufacturing processes. “The European Union is providing funding to accelerate the development of sustainable energy systems that will have a medium and long range impact not only in Europe, but also in the rest of the world,” said Dr. Keith Brooks, Senior Scientist, Konarka. Dr. Brooks is based in Switzerland and serves as technology liaison among Konarka’s European and US activities and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The lead organization in the consortium is Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (CEA) in Paris, France.