World-leading nanoelectronics research center imec and Kaneka Corporation, a Japanese leading manufacturer of chemical specialties and solar cells, has announced that they have signed a new three year framework agreement that strengthens and extends their comprehensive R&D collaboration. Next to working on next generation solar cells, under this frame agreement imec and Kaneka will explore new applications in life science and thin-film electronics.
Beginning with the incorporation of Kaneka's Photovoltaics European Laboratory at the imec campus in Leuven in 2009, Kaneka has benefited the past six years from imec's longstanding expertise in photovoltaics. Imec's unique knowledge, capabilities and facilities for silicon solar cells have supported Kaneka's advancements in innovating high efficiency solar cells. Kaneka has recently announced a record of 25.1% efficiency for both side contacted crystalline Silicon solar cell with copper contact metallization in industrial size
This new frame agreement on the one hand validates the successful PV collaboration, while it also underscores the mutual benefits both companies see in other fields. Imec has built-up an impressive track record of innovative developments in life sciences and wearable biomedical applications, bringing medical-quality diagnostics to the patient. Using its thin-film electronics technology developed in cooperation with Holst Centre (set up by imec and TNO (The Netherlands)), imec will further optimize such applications in flexible, stretchable and low cost solutions.
"Such roadmap is fully in-line with Kaneka's ambitions and strategy for future products", says Kaneka's Chairman of the Board, Mr. Kimikazu Sugawara. "It is crucially important to collaborate with advanced research institutes to cope with today's competitive world where speed is key to innovation. We very much esteem imec's world-leading position and are looking forward to identifying together with imec new product developments for Kaneka", he continues.
"Collaboration plays a crucial role in pushing forward the development of innovative solutions, and we are extremely pleased that Kaneka has made imec a key partner for its advanced research," stated Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at imec. "This agreement validates our R&D offering in high efficiency solar cell technology, life sciences and thin-film electronics, and we are confident that our new frame agreement will lead to promising results in the future."
Kaneka Corporation was established in 1949 as a spin-off from the Kanegafuchi Spinning Co., Ltd. It is headquartered in Osaka, Japan and employs 8,529 people worldwide (including consolidated subsidiaries). Kaneka's activities span a broad spectrum of markets ranging from photovoltaics, plastics, EPS resins, chemicals and foodstuffs to pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electrical and electronic materials and synthetic fibers. Kaneka has been a leader among Japanese chemical companies in establishing overseas operations, beginning in 1970 with a subsidiary in Belgium, Kaneka now has overseas subsidiaries in Belgium, Germany, the United States, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia.
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, India and Japan. Its staff of about 2,300 people includes almost 700 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2014, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 363 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be . Stay up to date about what's happening at imec with the monthly imec magazine, available for tablets and smartphones (as an app for iOS and Android), or via the website www.imec.be/imecmagazine. Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut"), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).
About Holst Centre
Holst Centre is an independent open-innovation R&D centre that develops generic technologies for Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions and for Systems-in-Foil. A key feature of Holst Centre is its partnership model with industry and academia around shared roadmaps and programs. It is this kind of cross-fertilization that enables Holst Centre to tune its scientific strategy to industrial needs. Holst Centre was set up in 2005 by imec (Flanders, Belgium) and TNO (The Netherlands) with support from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Government of Flanders. It is named after Gilles Holst, a Dutch pioneer in Research and Development and first director of Philips Research. Located on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Holst Centre benefits from the state-of-the-art on-site facilities. Holst Centre has over 180 employees from around 28 nationalities and a commitment from more than 45 industrial partners. Visit us at www.holstcentre.com .
Source and top image: Imec