Tracy Wemett, BroadPR
Guido Weber, Siemens Corporate Technology
+49 89 636-49030
Konarka Acquires Siemens’ Organic Photovoltaic Research Activities
Union of Top Research Efforts Enhances Konarka’s Leadership Position
Lowell, Mass. — September 7, 2004 — Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in developing and manufacturing breakthrough products that convert light to energy, announced today it acquired Siemens AG’s organic photovoltaic research activities. The acquisition brings together two leading efforts to develop and commercialize a new generation of photovoltaics that are inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture and versatile. These new plastic power cells will make it possible for any electronic device or structure to carry its own on-board source of renewable energy.
“Siemens is one of the world’s largest innovators in electronics and power generation, and this transaction augments Konarka’s ability to deliver the first practical forms of solar power that achieve the price and efficiency performance required to be the global market leader in distributed energy,” said Howard Berke, chairman and CEO, Konarka. “The integration of our organic photovoltaic program with Siemens’ complementary resources will result in powerful commercial advantages to our customers, changing how the world thinks about harvesting energy from the sun.”
Until now, both Konarka and Siemens had been working independently to harness breakthroughs in materials science and nanotechnology to create efficient, lightweight, flexible polymer-based electronics. The new combined effort empowers Konarka with Siemens’ intellectual property related to organic photovoltaics and the renowned scientific team led by Dr. Christoph Brabec, who becomes Konarka’s director of polymer photovoltaic research. In addition, Dr. Thomas Grandke, head of the materials and microsystems department at Siemens Corporate Technology, will be joining Konarka’s Scientific Advisory Council.
“Achievements in the field of organic photovoltaics have been yielded within our polymer electronics program and are a result of extensive research on organic photodetectors,” said Dr. Andreas Brinkrolf, CEO of Siemens Technology Accelerator, the group responsible for external commercialization of the technology. “The Siemens team showed the first polymer cells with efficiencies above five percent. Now we look to Konarka, with its strong management team and solid technology base, to secure and leverage the value we’ve created. We expect Konarka to be on the forefront of innovative renewable energy solutions, making it the ideal partner to transfer our results into marketable products.”
Konarka’s founding scientist, board member and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alan Heeger said, “Serdar Sariciftci and I are pleased to be reunited with Dr. Brabec. This puts three of the most recognized pioneers in conductive polymers all on the same team, along with our new scientists who have already shown what they can do, achieving some of the highest efficiency levels for plastic photovoltaics yet. Konarka has the knowledge, personnel and manufacturing process in place to be the first to apply photovoltaic nanotechnology to viable commercial products that change the way we use electricity.”
Konarka’s acquisition increases its presence in Europe and establishes a footprint in Germany, one of the world leaders in renewable energy initiatives and home of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic project. The Company also has R&D labs and operations in Austria and Switzerland.
About Siemens Corporate Technology
In the fiscal year 2002/2003, Siemens invested €5.1 billion in research and development - which amounts to more than €23 million per work day. Worldwide, approximately 50,000 researchers and developers work on the newest technologies. With 42,000 current patents, the Company is a world leader. Within the corporate department, Corporate Technology (CT), over 1,700 employees work worldwide on key and profile technologies that have a significant role in managerial areas. In addition, CT is responsible within Siemens for global patent management, environmental protection and work with international standardization bodies as well as for the Corporate Information Research Center. Further information about CT is available on the Internet at www.ct.siemens.com.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc.
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