UNH News Release: Innovation Award Yields New Materials for Efficient and Cost-Effective Solar Energy Panels
January 25, 2013
Innovation Award Yields New Materials for Efficient and Cost-Effective Solar Energy Panels

DURHAM, N.H.Conductive Compounds Inc. (CCI), manufacturer of specialty conductive inks since 1994 in Hudson, recently completed a two-year project in partnership with chemical engineering professors at the University of New Hampshire to develop stable, cost-effective metallic nanoparticles which produce more conductive solar energy panels when used on silicon wafers and increase efficiency in other print applications. The project was funded by Conductive Compounds, a NH Innovation Research Center (NHIRC) Innovation Grant, matched by Conductive Compounds and federal NSF EPSCoR dollars.

“We did not have the internal resources to address the unique requirements for synthesizing nanoparticle materials,” said Don Banfield, CEO of Conductive Compounds Inc. “Armed with UNH’s experienced technical personnel and well-equipped lab facilities, the NHIRC grant has allowed us to explore another complimentary product line to our existing portfolio. As we continue working on commercializing a process for making these inks, our business has the potential to grow tremendously, and we’d be able to expand our plant, manufacturing capabilities, and hire additional personnel to be able to capitalize on this advanced technology.”

“Granite State Technology Innovation Grants promote promising university-industry collaborations that turn research, conceptualization, and product development into clear economic impact,” said Marc Sedam, executive director of the NHIRC. “In the case of CCI, the initial investment of roughly $20,000 has in turn yielded a $450,000 NSF Academic Liaison Grant coming into the state of New Hampshire. Further, their direct interaction with undergraduate engineering students has increased the potential for hiring and retention of UNH students in productive technical careers in the state.”

Granite State Technology Innovation Grants support projects under development in the private sector. Projects vary from proof-of-concept to a substantial product or process design. Companies are required to provide matching dollars or services and can receive additional NHIRC-sponsored training in Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grant writing in an effort to improve leverage of NHIRC dollars.

The NHIRC was created in 1991 by the New Hampshire Legislature to increase innovation and collaboration between New Hampshire businesses and universities. Awards are matched by funded companies to conduct projects that result in new products and processes, leading to increased business competitiveness and business profitability. To learn more about the NHIRC and how to apply for funding, visit http://www.nhirc.unh.edu.

Photograph available to download:
http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2013/jan/solar.jpg

Media Contact: Gretchen Smith | 603-862-0123 | New Hampshire Innovation Research Center
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