Irish company enters into landmark research partnership with Taiwanese government

11 Jun 2010

Irish energy technology company SolarPrint, which develops photo-voltaic (PV) energy technologies, today announced that it has entered into a research partnership agreement with the Taiwanese Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), one of the largest research centres of its kind in the world, with a budget of more than US$500m.

The partnership is for the joint development of new PV solutions that can be used in consumer applications.

PV technology involves the conversion of light – not just sunlight – into energy. It is growing in research significance for governments and industry, as the world moves towards environmentally friendly energy production technologies.
Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed by SolarPrint and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the company will collaborate with ITRI on the development of PV technologies that can be used in consumer devices, such as mobile phones and laptops.

SolarPrint aims to become solar tech leader

Dr Mazhar Bari, chief executive officer, SolarPrint, said: “Our goal is to become a genuine leader in the next generation of solar technology, not just in Ireland but internationally. Having already filed patents in relation to our new PV solutions, we are now raising funding to help us move towards high-volume production of PV materials next year.
“However, we are keen to partner with the leading institutions in this area globally. We have created a disruptive new technology that has the potential to generate energy at a lower cost than other forms of solar power. By partnering with ITRI, whose record in the field of R&D speaks for itself, we are now looking to define precisely how our solar cell technology can operate in the consumer applications space,” said Bari.

David Lee, representative, Taipei Representative Office in Ireland, said: “In Taiwan, we are heavily committed to developing clean, renewable energy technologies. Last year, our government passed the Renewable Energy Development Act, aimed at supporting the development of long-term strategies in the clean energy sector. This has provided a firm legal foundation that is now being mirrored by strong financial investment.”

Taiwan to invest €625m in clean-energy research

Taiwan has stated that it plans to invest up to €625m in clean-energy research over the next five years. The country is already a leader in PV technologies, the development of which is worth approximately US$3.16bn to the Taiwanese economy. The Taiwanese Bureau of Energy has forecast that, by 2025, 15pc of the country’s energy requirements will be met by clean energy sources.

“For us, SolarPrint is a perfect example of a hugely innovative company that has devised a technology that can be applied in all parts of the world, and we very much welcome this partnership. The clean energy sector is a critical area and one that has great potential for co-operation between our two countries, and we feel that this memorandum marks a significant step forward towards realising that potential,” said Lee.