Dear Colleagues of IPVF,
It is my great pleasure to have the opportunity to contribute to the IPVF newsletter through this statement. As a member of the board, and as one of the promoters of the development of this Institute from the very beginning, I wish to share with you some key elements of my vision for IPVF at the beginning of this new year.
First, IPVF is already an astounding achievement. In a brand new building, built in the top French R&D Cluster in Saclay, it gathers state-of-the-art technical tools and labs, and above all top class researchers coming from the academic world (CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, NREL, …), from SMIs (such as Horiba and Riber) and from the big industry (Air Liquide, EDF, Total). In addition, it operates as a business, as it is a “société par actions simplifée”, with both full research program and fnancial KPIs. It is not so easy and widespread to fnd such a diversity of features working smoothly! You share both freedom of research and business effciency: it is your strength, it makes you different from other academic or industrial labs. You have to build on it with your management team Jean-François Minster and Roch Drozdowski-Strehl, succeeding to Bruno Carlotti till end of 2018. Diversity is success.
Second, thanks to your scientifc management team, led by Daniel Lincot frst, and now by Pere Roca i Cabarrocas, with the constant support of Christophe Bonelli, you have today a very consistent R&D program focused mainly on tandem solar cells. Perovskite is both a promising technology and is facing many challenges such as effciency, durability, environmental impact. Added to new characterization and modeling tools combining chemical, electrical, frontiers projects such as solar-to-fuel, or tandem III-V demonstrate IPVF capability to address new topics and to be resilient to the evolution of its program. The results you met are already promising (cf. the frst 16 cm2 tandem cell end 2019) and I know that the research teams, together with Pere and Christophe, have great ambitions. The value of IPVF is ultimately coming from these achievements. Gather all the best people you can, let them open promising felds, use the network power of all the CNRS solar labs in France and abroad: I am confdent you will successfully deliver.
Third, as main fnancing shareholders, we are very satisfed of the continuous support of the French government through its research and innovation program (“Secrétariat général pour l’investissement”). Congratulations for succeeding to get an additional grant for 2020. Nevertheless, in the medium term, IPVF will have to increase the share of revenues it gets from external sources, by further developing services. IPVF is truly a technical platform which delivers research and labs services already. You have to fnd new customers and new partners to be less dependent moving forward. I know your management team is working on it, with already several promising contacts in and outside Europe.
Those three topics are interlinked and the success in the long run will come through achieving the three of them all together. PV industry is moving at high speed with fast decreasing cost: more than 10% a year. At the same time, generating electricity though PV is easy and widely accepted. Thus, for PV industry and research, the future is sunny! Let’s fnd your way in this landscape. Be sure, I am very confdent, and also very proud to have the honor to be a member of your board.