Perovskites are a new class of light absorber material for solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. These solar cells attracted worldwide attention when the efficiency of these cells were made at the fastest pace in industry history and because of their low cost and ease of fabrication. These materials are also effective in the opposite direction, converting from electrical power into light, for new displays and lighting.
MAESTRO, led by Professor Alison Walker of the University of Bath, is an intersectoral and multidisciplinary network of 10 academic (EPFL, Swansea University, Bar-Ilan University, University of Oxford, University of Konstanz, University of Rome Tor-Vergata, Universitat Jaume I de Castello, Istituto Italiano de Technologia, National Centre for Scientific Research “Democritos’) and 7 industrial partners (GreatCell Solar, Oxford Photovoltaics, 3G Solar, Saule Technologies, Tiberlab, NPL, Met) from 9 EU and Associated countries. These are UK, Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Israel and Switzerland. Researchers are hired by each partner and will collectively find means of prolonging cell lifetimes, reducing their toxicity whilst maintaining these exceptional efficiencies along with upscaling manufacturing. At the same time they will develop skills and experience of cross sector and cross disciplinary research. Training is provided in science and technology across physics, chemistry, materials science, electrical engineering. The researchers will be encouraged to consider exploitation at all stages from laboratory to fabrication. They will acquire transferable skills of communication, information technology, organization, planning, teamwork, leadership and the skills needed for innovation, such as understanding markets, product life cycles, business models, return on investment.
Through the creation of the next generation of European experts in the field of alternative energy sources, Maestro is great for the environment, and will strengthen European competitiveness in global markets by helping secure the future of EU solar and displays sectors.
Most of the partners of MAESTRO worked together at a similar project, DESTINY – DyE SendiTIzed solar cells with eNhanced stabilitY, funded by EU FP7 MC-ITN GA316494 programme that ran between 2012-2016. Please have a look at DESTINY project page to have an idea about how exciting MAESTRO can be!