Solar cell pioneers win national award for exemplary innovation in physics

Ossila Limited, a pioneering company based at the University of Sheffield Innovation (USi) Centre, has been awarded the Institute of Physics (IOP) Business Innovation Award in recognition of its solar cell prototyping platform.

The Ossila team being presented with the awardOssila's solar cell platform quickly allows researchers to start making laboratory-scale but fully-functional solar cells, from which new twists and big discoveries can be made by the worldwide community of researchers.

The award-winning innovation allows researchers to achieve world-class results and speed up the overall pace of solar cell research in an affordable and efficient manner.

The IOP Business Innovation Awards are presented annually to organisations that have succeeded in bringing to market new physics-based products or services that have had a transformative effect.

Making the transition to renewable energy is one of the big challenges of our time, requiring the production of solar electricity that is storable and equivalent in price to electricity from non-renewable sources.
Significant progress at the core science level is still needed to develop new materials, device types, and routes of production.

Ossila’s solar cell platform is enabling development of technologies that will have a major impact on renewable energy generation by fast-tracking the fundamental science of creating higher-efficiency devices that could ultimately be mass produced.

Managing Director of Ossila, Dr James Kingsley, said: “It is essential that researchers working in core nanotechnology development have access to the right tools in order to work quickly and efficiently.

“We've applied our know-how to create a high-performance solar cell prototyping platform that provides materials scientists with a competitive edge when creating and improving the next generation of devices that could have significant commercial value and a positive impact on the environment.

"We are delighted by the recognition that this accolade provides and we will continue towards our goal of enabling faster and smarter materials science research across a broad range of technological areas."

Ossila has been based in the University of Sheffield’s Kroto Innovation Centre since 2010 and is an example of a successful innovation from the institute’s incubation centre.

David Lidzey, Co-director and Professor of Physics at the University of Sheffield, said: “Ossila started off with one single desk in the University’s Innovation Centre and has now grown considerably and employs approximately 25 staff and students.

“We are delighted to be honoured with this prestigious award and we are looking forward to continuing our innovative work in such a vital area.”

The official IoP Awards ceremony will be held in London in November 2017.