Fraunhofer ISE acquires patent portfolio from SCHOTT Solar

Freiburg, Germany - The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and SCHOTT Solar AG have agreed on the transfer of 111 patent families in the field of crystalline silicon photovoltaics. With this transfer, both partners ensure that comprehensive know-how in the photovoltaic sector remains in Europe.

"We have established an important milestone for keeping this future-oriented technology in Germany," says the Institute’s director, Prof. Eicke Weber.

The acquired patents cover the entire value chain of silicon photovoltaics, from crystallization to system installation. Fraunhofer ISE and SCHOTT Solar have been research partners for over 20 years, and therefore the acquired portfolio, now completely in the hands of Fraunhofer ISE, contains many joint patent families such as the latest reliability tests for photovoltaic modules. Both parties have agreed to keep the sales price confidential. 

"The further exploitation of the patents has already begun and first inquiries have been received," emphasizes Dr. Ralf Preu, Division Director PV Production Technology and Quality Assurance. Furthermore, he highlights: "Of course we are concentrating on the licensing and implementation of property rights with German and European industry partners." 

For the Institute’s director, Eicke Weber, the patent acquisition establishes an important basis for guaranteeing the future of photovoltaics in Germany. At his institute, the commitment towards ensuring the sector’s long-term viability in Europe goes even further: "The German photovoltaic industry is still leading technologically. If we want to retain this industry here in Europe, we must help the companies to keep international competitiveness. This can be done by enabling German and European producers of PV manufacturing equipment to offer GW-scale PV manufacturing plants that are highly automated, using the latest and most cost-effective technologies. Only in this way can the companies remain competitive in the fast-growing global photovoltaics market." 

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