Partnering for Success

PVMC is a consortium for collaborative R&D and a proving ground for innovative solar technologies and manufacturing processes

As a consortium, PVMC is modeled in part on the history-making SEMATECH (SEmiconductor MAnufacturing TECHnology) experience in the semiconductor industry. Faced with falling market share for the U.S. domestic semiconductor industry from 57% in 1982 to 38% in 1988, SEMATECH, a consortium of leading chipmakers in partnership with the federal government, began working with domestic equipment suppliers to improve their capabilities. As a result of SEMATECH's work to solve common manufacturing problems, within 10 years the domestic semiconductor industry had grown by 16% and was once again highly competitive in the industry. In the meantime, SEMATECH had successfully transitioned to self-sufficiency, no longer requiring federal funding.

Since then, SEMATECH's technology and manufacturing achievements, as well as its expertise in consortium management and consensus-building, have continued to transform the way the semiconductor industry works and collaborates. Other consortia, both within and outside the semiconductor industry, have studied and emulated the SEMATECH model, and SEMATECH is frequently cited as one of the most successful examples of industry-government-university partnerships.

Similarly, PVMC is modeled in part on the success of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany and New York State in creating over the last decade the world-class CNSE Albany NanoTech Complex, an advanced high-technology hub for leading-edge companies from across the semiconductor and emerging industry supply chain. With unmatched intellectual and technological assets and capabilities, more than 300 corporate partners, and over $14 billion in investments from industry and the State of New York, the complex represents a powerful co-location partnership model, bringing together university researchers and students, industry scientists and engineers, and entrepreneurial businesses.

Through the formation of PVMC, SEMATECH and CNSE will now apply similar methods and ingenuity to helping the U.S. recapture the lead in solar manufacturing.

Together in this industry-led consortium modeled after SEMATECH, PVMC members will pool resources, select the R&D and manufacturing program portfolio they wish to cooperatively fund, guide and evaluate the progress of those programs, and collectively share in the program results. The advantage is simple — members benefit from leveraged funding, shared cost and risk, and faster and better solutions to common pre-competitive infrastructure needs and requirements.

PVMC's advanced manufacturing development facilities will be based on CNSE's co-location partnership model. The Albany NanoTech Complex is undergoing a major expansion that will provide PVMC with shared state-of-the-art facilities that PV companies and researchers can use as a proving ground for either cooperative or proprietary development, product prototyping, demonstration, and pilot-scale manufacturing to validate CIGS thin film and PV manufacturing technologies.

The fusion of the SEMATECH and CNSE models is the foundation for PVMC's success in speeding the development and scale-up, and reducing the commercialization costs, of solar PV technology.


▼ The CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex is undergoing a major expansion that will provide PVMC with
shared state-of-the-art facilities

The CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex