The EPSRC will invest up to £5 million in the new solar nanotechnology research and development projects while the Technology Strategy Board will invest £2 million.
Business-led consortia will focus on building the supply chain and achieving technology demonstration in a real life environment of solar energy under the competition.
CEO of the Technology Strategy Board, Iain Gray, says: “The projects we will fund through this competition will both improve our quality of life and generate economic benefits to the UK economy. Nanoscale technologies have the potential to address the major societal challenge of increasing our renewable energy options for the future.
“By investing in this area we will be contributing significantly to the UK’s 2050 targets for renewable energy as well as growing significant business opportunities for British companies both at home and abroad, transferring commercially focused basic research into the business community.”
EPSRC CEO Professor David Delpy adds: “Solar energy is the only renewable energy technology that, in theory, could meet all of the world's energy needs. To date we have been limited by the cost and efficiency of the available technology.
“This competition will ‘fast track’ projects that address some of these challenges. The projects will also have commercial potential and can position British businesses to exploit a growing global market in the near term, while providing sustainable solutions for the UK in the longer term.”
The solar nanotechnology competition opens on 13 September 2010 and expressions of interest must be submitted by 14 October 2010. The closing date for receiving full applications is 21 October 2010.