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Heliatek with ENGIE at CES 2017

Energy Communities

Heliatek, a German company developing organic photovoltaics, will be with ENGIE at CES in January 2017. In its relatively short history, the company, its technology and its management have all received several prestigious innovation awards. We spoke to Dr. Thomas Bickl, Vice-president for Sales & Production Development.

Hello Thomas. Could you briefly present Heliatek?

Heliatek was created in 2006, bringing together internationally-renowned experts in the fields of organic optoelectronics and oligomer synthesis with the aim of helping to shape a sustainable solar future by developing organic photovoltaics.

Classic solar technology is reliable and cost-effective, but often heavy, rigid, not universally fixable, and sometimes ugly. Heliatek has therefore developed a fully-functional organic solar film, HeliaFilm®, on a light, flexible, polyethylene support which makes roll-to roll production possible. This solar film has already been successfully combined with materials like glass, concrete, and PVC membrane.

Together with our partners, mainly in the building and automotive industries, we are developing ready-to-market products. At the moment, Heliatek is the first OPV company making the transition from a pure technology development to industrial manufacturing. Our first pilot production line is in operation, and ENGIE has invested a substantial amount of venture capital, which will help Heliatek move towards full-scale production in 2018. At the moment, we are preparing the market: any of ENGIE's partners are invited to propose a pilot project.

How would you define innovation ? Three key words?

For me, innovation means taking an idea that looks nice in the lab into the real world... and making it work.
And I think innovation should be:

  • Inspiring (generating enthusiasm)
  • Enabling (making possible something that was not possible before)
  • and Sexy! (not just interesting)

What will you be presenting at CES ?

Quite simply, our latest developments in solar film. Things are moving so fast that I can't say right now what these will be!

How do you hope to benefit from your presence at CES with ENGIE?

The CES with ENGIE is a great opportunity for us. The ideal outcome would be threefold:

  • To find new partners in the USA.
  • To discover the specificities of the US market for solar film.
  • And if possible, to come back with at least one concrete pilot project.

What question would you like to be asked?

"Where will you be in ten years' time?"

And the answer?

We will be a multibillion dollar international company creator of an innovative technique that has become a cornerstone for the generation of distributed power.
Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE, talks about the 3 D's of energy: decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization. That is Heliatek technology!

Source: Martyn Crossland

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