The organic photovoltaics (OPV) market just got more competition with the announcement from Cambridge Enterprise, the University of Cambridge’s commercialization office, and the Carbon Trust, who revealed their new endeavor: Eight19 Limited. The new solar energy company will be focusing on developing and manufacturing high-performance, low-cost plastic solar cells for high-growth volume markets. Professors Sir Richard Friend, Henning Sirringhaus and Neil Greenham of Cambridge, all part of the Cavendish Laboratory and the technology development company TTP, have also partnered for the creation of the new company.
The idea for Eight19 comes from the Carbon Trust’s Cambridge University-TTP Advanced PV Research Accelerator and has a US$7 million investment from the Carbon Trust and Rhodia for the cultivation of product prototypes. The OPV focus will be built off the Cavendish Laboratory’s development techniques for constructing large-scale plastic electronic mechanisms on flexible materials using a roll-to-roll process.
“This investment is perfectly in line with our strategy to explore new promising market segments fitting with our sustainable development commitment. Furthermore, we are convinced that open innovation is key to leverage our research and development capability. We are happy to work in close partnership with prominent scientists to develop this breakthrough technology,” explains Pascal Juery, group executive vice president of Rhodia.
Strengthening Eight19 is a management team, which is touted as being “world class” and having a record in producing low-cost applications with scalable roll-to-roll technology, and cofounder Prof. Friend, who, among other achievements, is credited with cofounding Cambridge Display Technology and Plastic Logic.