- Konarka and Konica Minolta Joint Development Expected to Yield Production and Global Distribution of High Performance Organic Photovoltaic Panels
Lowell, Mass. - Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Konarka Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy, today announced the company has signed a comprehensive R&D collaboration and strategic investment agreement with Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. (Konica Minolta). The companies reached agreement to start full-scale collaboration in April in the joint development and distribution of organic thin-film photovoltaics. Under the agreement, Konica Minolta has invested $20 million in Konarka.
"Konica Minolta positions the organic thin-film photovoltaic business as one of the most promising in the environment and energy field, next to the organic light emitting diode (OLED) business, where our photographic film manufacturing technology is leading mass production," commented Masatoshi Matsuzaki, CEO at Konica Minolta. "We are pleased to be collaborating with Konarka, the first and world leader to commercialize organic thin-film photovoltaics because of its state-of-the-art polymer technology and its mass production facility in New Bedford, Massachusetts."
The companies will organize respective strengths in materials, optical and coating technologies as well as joint development, aiming to improve organic thin-film photovoltaic performance including higher conversion efficiency, longer life and lower manufacturing costs, to realize mass production of next-generation photovoltaics. Currently, Konarka's roll-to-roll process simplifies manufacturing scale-up, has significantly lower capital and labor costs than previous generations of solar cells and can be produced using existing coating and printing equipment.
Upon successful results of the joint development milestones, the companies are expected to establish a joint venture company in Japan to produce organic thin-film photovoltaic panels. Konica Minolta will be Konarka's lead Asian business partner headquartered in Japan.
"We are delighted that Konica Minolta recognizes the value of Konarka's patent-protected thin film solar material that is lightweight and flexible, uniquely lending itself to a wide range of applications where traditional photovoltaics are not effective," commented Howard Berke, executive chairman and co-founder of Konarka. "With our collaboration efforts, Konarka and Konica Minolta are well positioned to deliver efficient, next-generation photovoltaic panels to meet the growing demand for personal and commercial solar energy solutions around the world."
Konarka will be exhibiting with its key product application partner, Toppan Forms, at PV Expo Japan 2010, March 3-5, 2010 in Tokyo, Japan, booth #'s 31-32. For more information on the event, visit: http://pvexpo.jp/index_en.html.
About Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc.
Konica Minolta Group globally offers diverse products, services, and solutions in a wide range of fields. Our business domain is broad, including office equipment, optical devices, medical imaging, graphic imaging and measuring instruments. Its largest office equipment business sector consecutively offers advanced network document solutions, taking advantage of its strengths in high-speed, color and networking technologies.
To create new pillar businesses in the environment and energy field, Konica Minolta is actively developing unique and cutting-edge technologies on the basis of proprietary materials, optical, nano-fabrication and imaging technologies. OLED lighting is notable development activities underway with potential for use in various applications. Organic thin-film photovoltaic panel is also typical example of the promising business in the environment and energy field. For additional information, visit konicaminolta.com.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Konarka develops and manufactures solar plastic films that convert light to energy - anywhere. As the leading developer of polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology that provides a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors, Konarka has a broad portfolio of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished technical, scientific and manufacturing team. Manufactured at low cost and low energy consumption, the company's Konarka Power Plastic® technology is lightweight, flexible, scalable and adaptable for use in a variety of commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Konarka Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A. and has a full scale production manufacturing facility in New Bedford, Mass. U.S.A., with European headquarters in Nurnberg, Germany, business development offices in Asia and a research and development facility in Austria. For additional information, visit www.konarka.com.
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