Konarka Secures Technology Licensing Deal, Manufacturing to Begin

Konarka Technologies hit a milestone in its efforts to commercialize its “power plastic” dye sensitized, flexible solar photovoltaic technology. The company has reached a licensing agreement that will help the company and its technology go from being a promising solar start-up to a commercial-scale manufacturer of unique solar technology.

Renewable Capital Ltd., an investment firm that identifies and invests in renewable technologies, announced the licensing and joint development of Konarka’s 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 the development activities, which includes the enlistment of services from Coatema, a manufacturer of 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 the world-renowned scientist, Dr. Michael Graetzel, and enables photovoltaic technology to create energy across a broad spectrum of light, both indoors and outdoors. “Renewable Capital has assessed many technologies and opportunities around the world in renewable energy projects, forming strategic partnerships and negotiating licenses,” commented Ed Stevenson, principal of Renewable Capital. “Clearly, Konarka’s dye-sensitized solar cell technology has been developed to the point that it is ready to be manufactured on a large scale, and Coatema is just the equipment manufacturer to help us bring this to market.” Renewable Capital selected Coatema as its manufacturing partner due to its more than 30 years in the laminating and coating equipment industry. The company claims it is Europe’s largest research and development center for coating and laminating. “Our proven coating process can be leveraged for large-scale manufacturing of new materials, such as Konarka’s dye-cell technology,” stated Thomas Kolbusch, managing director at Coatema. “As well, we provide complete control of the entire production process, from the development of the formulation, trials in our own lab, manufacturing of the plants and full support to the final product, thus ensuring the most optimum manufacturing conditions.” 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.

No posts to display