Under the agreement, Kaneka will incorporate its European Photovoltaics Laboratory at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium, and collaborate with IMEC experts to further improve its current thin-film solar cells and to develop next generation cells.
Kaneka’s decision to establish a European lab was motivated by the need to have a presence - and in future a production facility - in the rapidly growing European photovoltaics market.
“IMEC was chosen as the preferred R&D partner because of its longstanding expertise and excellent track-record in photovoltaics, and because of its unique knowledge and capabilities in materials processing and photonics” said Kimikazu Sugawara, President of Kaneka Corporation.
Kaneka’s European Photovoltaics Laboratory will be the first R&D lab of a Japanese solar cell manufacturer to be sited outside Japan. A team of Kaneka and IMEC engineers will install and operate Kaneka’s equipment in IMEC’s photovoltaics labs.