Transfer of Knowledge

5.1 Quality and mutual benefit of the transfer of knowledge

Success in this element will be paramount in defining success of the overall project, namely, to achieve the novel third generation solar cell fabricated using electrochemically deposited CIGS thin films. Transfer of knowledge will take place principally through a programme of exchanges, where institutions both host/receive as well as undertake visits with other partners.  It is important to recognise that a good programme will facilitate exchange of information in both directions with both host and visitor benefiting, and ultimately the programme. Key strategies include giving and attending seminars and workshops, training, and opportunities to shadow partners, and take part in professional dialogue.  Additionally, the visiting experts and young researchers will carry out strategic experiments within this programme, help in training young researchers by working alongside them, and contribute to the preparation of scientific papers.

Every seconded researcher will prepare a report at the end of his stage under the supervision of the leader of the receiving group and the report will be sent to the coordinator.

Seminars devoted to spread the results of the tasks performed in every laboratory will be organized in the site of every partner preferably at the end of every year or when the scientist leader deems timely depending on how many seconded people are working in the receiving laboratory. The coordinator will be informed of the schedule of the seminars done in each participant’ site.

A workshop will be organized during the third year (about month 28th-30th, July-September 2013) to put in common all the theoretical and experimental work already performed in the frame of the project and discuss about obtained results. This workshop will be held in the coordinator site UPV-Valencia.

In the last month of the project (month 48th, March 2015) a general conference will be organized in order to spread the figures of the project, in terms of seconded month-persons, destinations, scientific and technical results, etc. and analyze how the project has been running during the 4 years. The site to celebrate the final conference will be decided during the above-mentioned workshop.

The principal fabrication method of the solar cell is electrochemical deposition. The facilities available at UPV will be appropriate for a good programme in electrochemistry. The visit of BUAP, UM and UCV scientists with experience and expertise in electrochemistry and electrodeposition of CIGS will expedite the process of solar cell fabrication and help young researchers at UPV in broadening scientific knowledge, experimental work and publications. The characterisation of materials and solar cells will need collective effort and knowledge. The young researchers from other institutions will have the opportunity to take part in mini workshops held at UM for the use of various characterisation techniques such as Raman Spectroscopy, Photocurrent Spectroscopy, Photothermal deflection spectroscopy and Impedance analysis, all of which are vital in the development of thin film solar cells but not readily available elsewhere. Those visiting UPV, WTU and BUAP will have the opportunity to be trained for detailed materials characterisation techniques and device development. The facilities available as described in work packages at WTU will complement characterisation and analysis. The exchanges to and from UPM will also facilitate acquisition of a thorough understanding of the physics of solar cells. Visiting scientists to MDU will be trained to develop the materials investigated as up and down converters.

Sustainability of the transfer of knowledge will be supported through opportunities for visiting partners to observe, discuss, and work alongside colleagues in the host institution.  Maintaining dialogue once the visitor has returned to their home institution will be paramount, with the return visit providing opportunities for the learning to be further embedded in the new context, as the learner now has the opportunity to apply his/her learning with support from the expert, with a view to being able to independently apply the learning throughout this programme and in other contexts, once the programme is completed.

Whilst the exchange programme will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, it is important to reinforce and develop mutual learning opportunities through the use of regular teleconferences with a frequency of once per year and inter-consortium exchange of information which as well as informing the programme, may also provide wider learning opportunities for individuals. Every partner of the consortium will organize one meeting per year inviting the seconded researchers that were presently working in the group. The schedule for these partner meetings will be decided for the leader of every group taking into account the how many people are attending the group. A workshop to be attended by at least one member of all partners of the consortium will be held at the coordinator’ site preferably at end of the third year, tentatively on month 36th.

Dissemination plan

The team plans an ambitious dissemination programme. By month 12, all seven teams will have made significant progress towards milestones M1, M2, M3 and M4. The exchanges will have initiated the basic CIGS PV cell process, as well as the development of converting luminescent materials and quantum modelling. This knowledge will be disseminated across the consortium through a webinar co-ordinated by UPV by the end of the 12th month. The outcomes, key achievements, and messages will be shared with all partners through a shared portal on a new dedicated internet/intranet site. The website is central to the dissemination objectives for the project. It is also important to establish links with similar projects or other databases of relevance. This is of special value in order to pursue an integrated international approach. The aim of the website is two-fold: to function as a source of information for all interested parties outside the project and as a source of information and support for those within the project.

For wider dissemination, we will regularly update the website on presenting the aims and objectives of the project, its participants, and the project’s organisation, key achievements, our conferences/meetings and a list of project publications, newsletters, press releases as well as updates of new findings in our area of research. In order for the website to serve as support for our project partners, we will include a “partners only” link where our partners may log works in progress for internal use only, store key protectable results and other internal documentation. We expect to launch the website in June 2011.

By the end of month 18, as the programme is well underway, two international publications will describe the progress to date, excluding patentable material. The publishable results will be presented in one national conference in each respective country as well as in international conferences, such as EMRS 2012.

The consortium is also planning to publish a quarterly newsletter, which will be circulated among key academic and industrial personnel within the photovoltaic community, as well as senior academics within the host universities and countries, and other interested persons.

By month 24, milestone M2, the establishing of a CIGS solar cell and its subsequent characterisation and modelling, will lead to two more international publications. A second webinar/teleconference will share and discuss progress and any remedial measures required. The establishing of up/down converters for CIS (M4) will produce several publications and a potential patent.

The next potential patent is M5, the development of IB-CIGS in the 36th month. The target audience will expand at this point as the key results and progress will be shared with the wider academic and industrial communities as well as policy makers with responsibility for renewable energy in Europe. As by the middle of the 4th year the project should have achieved its goals (M8), the wider target audience will be invited to the workshop (M7). Following that, the partners will plan for more immediate international publications, including at least one in a high impact factor journal (e.g. Science), as well as exploring possibilities for upscaling and eventual prototyping.

Finally, key achievements will also be given wider publicity through submission to non-scientific national or international news media (e.g.The Times, UK, New York Times, CNN).