Dyesol and CSIRO collaborate on high-performance DSC dye

Dyesol and CSIRO will develop higher performing dyes for dye solar cell (DSC) technology in a 2-year project that will be funded by an investment of up to $1.17 million from CSIRO’s Australian Growth Partnership program.

(July 1, 2010) — Dyesol (ASX: DYE) and CSIRO announced completion of transaction documents for a collaboration to develop higher performing dyes for dye solar cell (DSC) technology in a 2-year project that will be funded by an investment of up to $1.17 million from CSIRO’s Australian Growth Partnership (AGP) program.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Dyesol will project manage a specialized team of experienced scientists from CSIRO to work with the Company on an agreed development program leveraging Dyesol’s ruthenium-based dye knowledge and CSIRO’s modelling and research capability. The program will target the creation of new intellectual property (IP) that the Company expects will further reinforce its market leadership position in the DSC photovoltaic market. Under the terms, Dyesol can exclusively access the project IP.

The transaction involves the purchase of a Dyesol laboratory solution by CSIRO, a direct investment into Dyesol via the AGP program and in-kind contributions from both CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship and Dyesol itself.

Dye-sensetized photovoltaic technology can best be described as ‘artificial photosynthesis.’ Ruthenium-based dyes, known as organo-metallic dyes, are at the core of DSC technology. DSC requires the deposition of nano-particulate titania, ruthenium dyes and an electrolyte, sandwiched between glass, metal or polymer substrates, capturing light and, through an electrochemical process, converting it into energy. Light striking the dye excites electrons which are absorbed by the titania to become an electric current many times stronger than that found in natural photosynthesis in plants. DSC is particularly suited to building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) applications. According to the company, compared to conventional silicon-based photovoltaic technology, Dyesol’s technology has lower cost and embodied energy in manufacture, produces electricity more efficiently even in low light conditions and can be directly incorporated into buildings by replacing conventional glass panels or metal sheets rather than taking up roof or extra land area.

“This project builds on the foundations of Dyesol’s commercialization strategy in which partnerships with global companies such as CORUS (Tata Steel) and the collaboration with Pilkington NA, are complemented by programs with technology leaders like the CSIRO providing us both with access to valuable IP in higher performing materials as well as powerful access to high value markets,” said Dyesol Australia’s acting CEO, David Bundy.

Should the program outcomes be achieved, the terms of the financing facility provides Dyesol with flexibility in respect to its preferred repayment options including the issue of equity to CSIRO and/or royalty stream participation.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, provides scientific solutions to industry, governments and communities around the world. The CSIRO’s role is to deliver great science and innovative solutions for industry, society and the environment. The organisation works on new ways to improve quality of life, as well as the economic and social performance of a number of industry sectors through research and development.  Australian Growth Partnerships (AGP) is a competitive, merit-based pilot funding program managed by CSIRO. CSIRO has been allocated funds by the Commonwealth Government to provide funding to high potential, technology-receptive small and medium enterprises in order that they can access CSIRO research and development capability and intellectual property.

Dyesol is located in Queanbeyan NSW (near Canberra) and in August 2005 was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX Code ‘DYE’). Dyesol manufactures and supplies a range of dye solar cell products comprising equipment, chemicals, materials, components and related services to researchers and manufacturers of DSC.

For more information, visit http://www.dyesol.com and http://www.csiro.au/AGP

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