SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II seeks solar innovations leading to a lower LCOE

Fraunhofer TechBridge is now accepting applications for SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II, in partnership with Royal DSM and Greentown Labs. The SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II is seeking solutions to increase the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, resulting in a lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and broader deployment of affordable PV. For solar energy to reach grid parity and become cost competitive with fossil fuel-based generation on a global scale, it is necessary to reduce the LCOE of solar PV.

The first SunRISE Challenge was conducted in 2016 and five early-stage companies were selected as winners to receive awards for a 6-month structured startup acceleration program at Greentown Labs and technical validation services from Fraunhofer CSE, culminating in venturing investments by DSM Venturing in two awardees–QD Solar and WattGlass–and several ongoing collaborations with DSM. Based on the success of the first SunRISE TechBridge Challenge, DSM, Fraunhofer TechBridge and Greentown Labs are seeking further innovative solutions that will reduce the LCOE for PV systems.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Novel PV cell and module materials;
  • Data analytics and/or advanced sensors; and
  • “Retrofit” solutions that boost the power output and/or reduce operation and maintenance costs of PV modules already installed in the field.

Winning applicants will be eligible for one or more of the following awards:

  • Up to $25,000 in technical validation services from the world-renowned Fraunhofer R&D network;
  • Greentown Launch, a 6-month structured acceleration program for solar startups at Greentown Labs, including valuable tools, products, and services;
  • Partnership and/or a project with DSM; and
  • Venture investment from DSM.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the potential impact of their solution, with a key parameter being LCOE and time to market.

Proposals are due by March 15, 2017 at: www.fhtechbridgechallenge.org/sunrise2. Awardees’ intellectual property is fully protected throughout the process.

News item from Fraunhofer USA

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