The first ten million kroner of Orkla's donation to the Research Council of Norway have gone to a project in which nanotechnology is used to develop new materials and components for much more effective solar cells.
The Orkla grant is part of a total donation of NOK 45 million that was presented to the Research Council of Norway on the occasion of Orkla's 350 anniversary and Elkem's 100th anniversary. The Research Council has applied to have these funds included under the Norwegian Government's grant supplement programme. The additional public funding thereby received will increase the donation to NOK 56.25 million.
Professor Bengt Gunnar Svensson and research scientist Edouard Monakhov of the University of Oslo's Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN) are extremely grateful for this funding, which will be used to finance a project entitled "Conducting oxides and nanostructures for energy technology".
"The project is both challenging from a scientific viewpoint and relevant for the industrial sector. Orkla's grant enables us to work in a longer-term perspective, by employing more research fellows and post-doctorate researchers," says Svensson.
The Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN) at the University of Oslo has built up highly advanced nanotechnology laboratories. Thanks to the NOK 10 million grant, the costly equipment can be used more effectively. Svensson and Monakhov emphasise that the centre is inter-disciplinary, and that the facilities in the building can be used for research in several fields.
Environment and energy
The agreement between Orkla, Elkem and the Research Council stipulates that the grant must be used for long-term basic research of interest to business and industry. The funds must particularly be used in fields in which Orkla operates. Special mention is made of fields such as the environmental sector, material science and energy and solar energy.
Ole Kristian Lunde, SVP, Corporate Communications - Tel.:+47-22 54 44 31
Professor and project supervisor Bengt Gunnar Svensson (right) and researcher Edouard Monakhov at the Centre for Material Science and Nanotechnology. The equipment next to them, Secondary Ion Spectrometry (SIMS), is used to measure contamination in super-pure silicon.