Konarka Makes Competitive Solar Acquisition

Konarka is on the move. Not simply content with amassing a strong management team including noble laureates, securing growing investments and building substantial market anticipation for their photovoltaic (PV) products, the Massachusetts-based solar energy company has now increased their research assets by acquiring a major competitor in the field.

Lowell, Massachusetts – September 7, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Siemens AG’s organic photovoltaic (PV) research activities are now under the Konarka solar PV development umbrella. Konarka said the acquisition brings together two leading efforts to develop and commercialize a new generation of PV that are inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture and versatile. “Siemens is one of the world’s largest innovators in electronics and power generation, and this transaction augments Konarka’s ability to deliver the first practical forms of solar power that achieve the price and efficiency performance required to be the global market leader in distributed energy,” said Howard Berke, chairman and CEO, Konarka. “The integration of our organic photovoltaic program with Siemens’ complementary resources will result in powerful commercial advantages to our customers, changing how the world thinks about harvesting energy from the sun.” Until now, both Konarka and Siemens had been working independently to harness breakthroughs in materials science and nanotechnology to create efficient, lightweight, flexible polymer-based electronics. The new combined effort empowers Konarka with Siemens’ intellectual property related to organic PV and the renowned scientific team led by Dr. Christoph Brabec, who becomes Konarka’s director of polymer PV research. In addition, Dr. Thomas Grandke, head of the materials and microsystems department at Siemens Corporate Technology, will be joining Konarka’s Scientific Advisory Council. Konarka believes their new polymer-based plastic PV cells will make it possible for any electronic device or structure to carry its own on-board source of renewable energy. “Achievements in the field of organic photovoltaics have been yielded within our polymer electronics program and are a result of extensive research on organic photodetectors,” said Dr. Andreas Brinkrolf, CEO of Siemens Technology Accelerator, the group responsible for external commercialization of the technology. “The Siemens team showed the first polymer cells with efficiencies above five percent. Now we look to Konarka, with its strong management team and solid technology base, to secure and leverage the value we’ve created. We expect Konarka to be on the forefront of innovative renewable energy solutions, making it the ideal partner to transfer our results into marketable products.” “This puts three of the most recognized pioneers in conductive polymers all on the same team, along with our new scientists who have already shown what they can do, achieving some of the highest efficiency levels for plastic photovoltaics yet,” said Konarka’s founding scientist, board member and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alan Heeger. “Konarka has the knowledge, personnel and manufacturing process in place to be the first to apply photovoltaic nanotechnology to viable commercial products that change the way we use electricity.” Konarka’s acquisition increases its presence in Europe and establishes a footprint in Germany, one of the world leaders in renewable energy initiatives and home of the world’s largest solar PV project. The company also has R&D labs and operations in Austria and Switzerland.

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