The French government has signed an agreement for €18.5 million (US$25.4 million) with an solar R&D institute founded by Total and EDF.
The research institute, the Institut Photovoltaïque d'Ile-de-France (IPVF) signed the six year finance contract with the French national research agency (ANR).
The finance will go towards starting the institute and promoting its operations. The institute has a total budget of €150 million (US$206 million) with construction to begin in 2014, at the foundation for scientific cooperation (FSC) Paris-Saclay campus, in Paris, France.
By 2016 the new IPVF institute wants to have 200 private researchers, and to home teachers, doctoral and master’s students, and to collaborate with other public research centres.
IPVF will run five programmes in high efficiency silicon and thin film cells, researching new business models for the solar industry, assessing environmental impacts and advanced theory. The new institute also aims to form partnerships with other solar energy research branches, manufacturers, businesses and industry.
The IPVF institute is an initiative run by oil and gas company, Total. The initiative was formed by Total, French utility EDF, the French National Center for Scientific Research, and graduate school, École, also gas company, Air Liquide, optical equipment research and development, Horiba Jobin Yvon and semiconductor manufacturer, Riber.
ANR operates on behalf of the French government’s Commissariat Général à l'Investissement (general commission for investment).