UK and India announce joint energy research programmes

UK Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills Pat McFadden and Indian Minister for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan have announced two multi-million pound research programmes.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) have each committed up to £5 million each over a three-year period for two research projects to develop cost-effective and efficient solar energy solutions.

One project is advancing the efficiency and production of excitonic solar cells - focusing on the development of materials, structures, processing and photovoltaic panel engineering of excitonic solar cells. RCUK and DST have awarded £2.5 million each for this project.

The second project is stability and performance of photovoltaics - focusing on improving materials supply and developing better designs to ultimately create cheaper and more efficient devices than current solar cells. RCUK and DST have awarded £2.4 million each for this project.

Chavan and McFadden have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Department of Science and Technology and the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, which affirms their mutual interest in promoting long-term research, development and innovation cooperation.

It includes funding which will be made available by both departments to establish a networking scheme to provide a platform for UK-based scientists and Indian researchers to continue and consolidate their collaborations for the future.

McFadden said: "As well as helping the UK to meet its 2020 goals, it will complement India's ambitious plans to deploy 20 million solar lighting systems to 10,000 villages and hamlets currently without access to grid electricity."

"This will spur advances in healthcare, education and productivity through the creation of new jobs."

Further information:
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

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