Energy and Environment

Brighter future with new solar lab

Monday 20th of April King Harald V of Norway visited IFE to present the Gunnar Randers Research Prize and open the Institute’s new solar lab building.

Holt, Arve

Research Director

Marstein, Erik Stensrud

Deputy Head of Department

Wikstrøm jr., Viktor A.

Director of Communication


Professor Roger Pynn (Indiana University, USA) is the fifth in line to receive the Gunnar Randers Research Prize for outstanding achievements in basic materials science. As in 2007, His Majesty the King of Norway came to present the prize.

Professor Pynn opened his speech of thanks with a few sentences in fluent Norwegian, and revealed to the audience that he had started out his career as a young scientist in an office only 10 meters from where he now was standing, receiving the award. He has kept in touch with the Norwegian research community since that time, among other things through participation in the Geilo Schools.


Foto: Einar E. Madsen (IFE)
Research isn’t about knowing things, but imagining things. It’s not about luck, Pynn affirmed in his speech of thanks. Here he receives the prize consisting of 100.000 NOK and a work of art by the Norwegian artist Kåre Tveter.

The Minister of Research and Higher Education, Tora Aasland, was among the congratulators. She emphasized in her speech basic materials science’s role as an important foundation for the development of solar cells. She also made it clear that research depends on up to date laboratory facilities and equipment in order to be competitive internationally.

Historic investment
In spite of the financial crisis’ shadows the will and determination to invest in the future’s energy technology and development of solar energy technology in Norway has persisted. A shining example of this is the priority to invest in solar energy research at IFE. The new solar energy lab building at Kjeller has cost about 50 MNOK (€ 5.6), and is thus one of the largest investments IFE has made through the ages.

Foto: Einar E. Madsen (IFE)
The King cuts the solar cell string and declares the new laboratory building officially opened. From left President Kjell Bendiksen, King Harald V and Department Head of Solar Energy, Arve Holt.

An additional 20-30 MNOK (€2.23-3.35) has been invested in new equipment, with funding from various projects in cooperation with the Norwegian Research Council and industry partners, says Erik Stensrud Marstein, Centre Manager for the new CEER in solar cell technology.

IFE Solbygg
IFE's new Solar lab building was opened in April 2009.

IFE solcelle lab
Inside the new solar cell technology lab at the official opening, April 20th 2009.

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