BOSTON — Fraunhofer TechBridge is now accepting applications for the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge, in partnership with Royal DSM and Greentown Labs. The SunRISE TechBridge Challenge is seeking innovations in materials and technologies that will enable the reduction of levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for photovoltaic (PV) systems, and consequently increase the penetration of affordable PV.

Solar energy has become an important source in the global energy mix over the past decade. For solar energy to reach grid parity and become cost competitive with fossil fuel-based generation on a global scale, it is necessary to lower the LCOE of solar PV.

Improving cell-to-module conversion efficiency
Reducing the overall lifetime cost of module materials per unit energy through novel materials
Retrofit solutions to reduce operation and maintenance costs
Technologies enabling non-traditional solar deployment
Business models that integrate solar PV with energy storage
Winning applicants will be eligible for one or more of the following awards:

Up to $100,000 in technical validation services from the world-renowned Fraunhofer R&D network
Greentown Launch incubation and acceleration program at Greentown Labs, up to $130,000 value in in-kind tools, products, and services
Partnership and/or a project with DSM
Venture investment from DSM
Applicants will be evaluated based on the potential impact of their solution, with a key parameter being the LCOE.

Proposals are due by March 16, 2016 at: Awardees’ intellectual property is fully protected throughout the process.

About Fraunhofer TechBridge and the Challenge Partners
Launched at Fraunhofer CSE in 2010, the Fraunhofer TechBridge program identifies and de-risks promising technologies to solve industry challenges. By performing targeted technical searches and conducting validation and demonstration work, TechBridge evaluates and prepares innovative early-stage products for investors and industry.

The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE is a non-profit applied research and development laboratory dedicated to the commercialization of clean energy technologies for the benefit of society. With a focus on building energy technologies, solar photovoltaics, and distributed electrical energy systems, Fraunhofer CSE engages in collaborative research with private companies, government entities, and academic institutions. Fraunhofer CSE is one of seven centers of Fraunhofer USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit contract R&D organization, a subsidiary of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest contract R&D organization.

DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living.™
Royal DSM is a global, science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in life sciences and materials sciences, DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders simultaneously. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 25,000 employees. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext. More information can be found at

Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating game-changing energy technologies that transform the way we live, work, and play. Located in Somerville, MA, Greentown Labs is the largest cleantech incubator in the nation, operating a 40,000 sq. ft. facility that enables entrepreneurs to solve today’s biggest energy and environmental problems. Greentown Labs hosts a constant stream of events and programs for the cleantech community and tours more than 5,000 visitors from around the world each year. Its mission is to enable a vibrant community of entrepreneurs to realize their visions by providing access to the space, resources, and funding needed to thrive.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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