Novel use of carbon nanotubes
In autumn 2012, the EU Commission approved the “Initial Training Network” POCAONTAS, which deals with the use of carbon nanotubes in solar cells. A success story also for the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency, which puts scientists and companies in Bavaria in contact with the appropriate partner organization quickly and easily. This also happened in September 2011, when Professor Dr. Vladimir Dyakonov, Chairman of the Board of the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern) and Professor for Experimental Physics at the University of Würzburg, took part in an international congress of the energy technology cluster managed by Bayern Innovativ GmbH on the subject of organic photovoltaics.
Course for success: Networking with potential cooperation partners
Professor Dyakonov, how did the cooperation come about?
Professor Dyakonov: The topic of organic photovoltaics is traditionally very well represented in Würzburg. This gave rise to the idea of locating an international congress on this topic here. At this event, BayFOR also exhibited projects that it oversees. This is how the first and at the same time most important contacts were made, which have now paid off. Some time later, a newly appointed colleague from Würzburg, Professor Dr. Tobias Hertel approached me and asked if we could use his carbon nanotubes in an organic solar cell. BayFOR already supported him during the development of the project. The answer was of course “yes”. This is how the POCAONTAS project was born.
So you have benefited twice from the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency?
Professor Dyakonov: Yes, on the one hand through the congress that we brought to life together with Bayern Innovativ GmbH and which offers excellent networking opportunities. On the other hand, through the concrete support of BayFOR in applying for subsidies. The success of EU third-party funding is not only based on the good content, but also on good networking with Brussels and the professional preparation of certain aspects of the project applications. In the meantime, the variety of programs in international calls for proposals and the complexity of the guidelines require an enormous amount of work that active scientists can hardly afford. The Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency offers welcome professional support with the application and advice on assessing the opportunities and risks. In particular, the partner institutions can provide the important background information on the current calls for proposals. However, the content must come from the scientists.