HZB receives funding to make innovations usable more quickly
Helmholtz Association funds innovation platforms on accelerator technologies and photovoltaics research with 4.2 million euros
The Helmholtz Association has selected three new innovation platforms that will now be funded. HZB is involved in two of them: The Innovation Platform on Accelerator Technologies HI-ACTS is intended to open up modern accelerators for a wide range of applications, while the Innovation Platform Solar TAP is intended to bring new ideas from the laboratories of photovoltaics research more quickly into an application. In total, HZB will receive 4.2 million euros in grants from the Pact for Research and Innovation over the next three years.
Innovation platforms create access to ideas and fascinating infrastructures, facilitating exchange between research centres as well as external interested parties. To create new structures for technology transfer and the joint use of large-scale equipment, research infrastructures and data, the Helmholtz Association is now funding three new innovation platforms, on accelerator technology, photovoltaics and ocean research.
HZB will receive a total of 4.2 million euros in grants from the Pact for Research and Innovation over the next three years, plus its own funds. Following a positive interim evaluation in 2025, funding for these innovation platforms can be made permanent.
Accelerator technologies for all: HI-ACTS – Helmholtz Innovation Platform for Accelerator-based Technologies & Solutions
In medicine, particle accelerators help in the development of novel tumour therapies or drugs; in materials research, the spectrum ranges from high-performance semiconductors to novel and more sustainable materials. However, until now access to particle accelerators has been costly.
With the HI-ACTS innovation platform, the Helmholtz Centres Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, the Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon want to open up their accelerator technologies to industry, science and society and make them accessible. This should lead to marketable solutions for materials research, medicine but also the energy industry. At the same time, the facilities can be further improved so that they can be used for a broader range of applications in the long term. "HI-ACTS gives HZB the chance to implement long-planned improvements in our user coordination," says Dr Paul Harten, Head of the Technology Transfer Department.
Fast, flexible energy from the sun: Solar TAP – Technology Acceleration Platform for emerging Photovoltaics
In order to achieve the climate goals in Germany and Europe, renewable energies must be massively expanded. For photovoltaics (PV) – i.e. energy from the sun – this means that solar modules would have to cover about two to four per cent of the land area. In addition to the construction of new large-scale solar parks, this requires the increased dual use of existing areas: Flexible and even more efficient PV systems can be installed on existing infrastructure.
With the Solar TAP innovation platform, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are developing new PV modules made of printed solar panels. Users can freely shape and design the modules - depending on their needs. This creates new options for the expansion of photovoltaics in agriculture, in the building sector and also on transport routes.
At HZB, several large research teams are working on photovoltaics based on perovskite semiconductors, which can also be produced by printing processes and at low temperatures. This enables the coating of flexible substrate materials. HZB is internationally known for world records in the efficiency of tandem cells with perovskites.
The Solar TAP innovation platform is intended to make new technologies quickly and easily accessible to industry, society and end users. "Innovations are constantly coming out of research, and we want to transfer them more systematically to industrial production," says Prof. Dr Eva Unger, who heads the Solution Processes for Hybrid Materials and Devices department at HZB.
Further information: Press release of the Helmholtz Association
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Press release HZB, 23 March 2023