Saturday Dec 03, 2022

Bringing solar energy to the market faster through borderless cooperation – Innovation Origins


It’s two minutes to midnight as far as the energy transition is concerned. Governments, industry, companies and consumers do know and sense that something needs to be done to drastically reduce CO2 emissions, says Ludo Deferm, Executive Vice-President at imec and member of the Solliance Supervisory Board. “But the path to the 2050 targets is not properly mapped out.” According to Deferm, it will take an entire network of small cogs to combat climate change.

In the Dutch Province of North Brabant, companies, government authorities and research institutes are working closely together on new applications for solar energy. Those innovations need to find their way to the market faster, states Marc Glaudemans, managing director of the province of North Brabant. “We will only be able to make an impact if those innovations are adopted on a large scale. By doing that, you not only make an impact on this task for society, but you also build up a part of the industry. You develop a whole new ecosystem, creating new jobs and businesses.”


Solliance and the Province of North Brabant joined forces and organized the Brabant Solar Day. What was initially supposed to be a day-long event, with an exhibition, a networking lunch and work visits to SolarBEAT on the grounds of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), as well as to Solliance Solar Research on the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, was narrowed down to an online TV broadcast on account of the corona measures.

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Watch the broadcast here

In a talk show-like setting, three panel discussions addressed climate change, global challenges, new solar technologies, the integration of solar cells into products and recycling. Among those seated at the table were representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament, scientists, from the Netherlands as well as Germany, inventors and makers of innovations, and representatives of construction companies.

Funding and public support

Glaudemans: “The goal was to have a conversation with each other and to see where things stand in science.” For example, Solliance is working on solar cells on thin film, which will enable the integration of solar cells into building facades and sound barriers.” This innovative application is transparent and the possibilities are endless. We wanted to show the first production line and prototypes. So that, for example, construction companies can come up with ideas to apply these solar cells on a large scale.” The planned work visits were replaced by videos.

“If we want to bring the foil that Solliance is working on to the market, then you need the whole ecosystem. Not just the bright minds at TU/e and High Tech Campus, but also the people who know about funding and about the European programs that are supposed to make this possible. It’s not just about the technology, but also about public support: How do you get people to buy these kinds …….


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