In addition to being one of only a handful of ‘Pioneer Licensees’ from Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Dyesol also holds its own suite of patents – the combination puts Dyesol in a very strong industry-leadership position.
Dyesol benefits from an investment of over 700 person-years in DSC technology, and has benefited and continues to benefit from a close connection to EPFL in Switzerland, where the original DSC invention was made, and major breakthroughs still originate from. Through our subsidiary, GreatCell Solar SA in Switzerland, Dyesol has an ongoing R&D liaison with EPFL. Dyesol has rights to commercialise EPFL advances in DSC and leverage developments directly into existing and future commercialisation projects.
As a measure of Dyesol’s activity and success, in 2012 alone the Company has registered or has been granted protection in some 13 jurisdictions spread across 5 patents families covering the following technological areas:
- scale-up from cells and modules to entire DSC panels;
- miniaturised DSC devices, e.g. for powering remote sensors;
- multifunctional means for electrical device contacts;
- electrochemical surface modification for enhanced device performance and higher device voltage in particular; and
- substrate preparation for reliable sealing.
A number of these patents are instrumental in the collaborations with Dyesol’s major commercial partners or key enablers to some of the device manufacturing equipment sold by Dyesol. In other cases, they open or maintain access to future novel lines of products. As DSC technology moves more towards mass manufacture, much of the intellectual property arising out of Dyesol’s development activities is in the form of know-how and trade secrets, such as processes used for the manufacture and formulation of materials and the processes used for the manufacture of cells and modules, which are not registered as patents and are instead tightly safe-guarded to prevent access by potential competitors.