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Forschungszentrum Jülich - Annual Report 2011

Forschungszentrum Jülich | Annual Report 2011 International Cooperation for Sustainability LABEX – German-Brazilian bioeconomy cooperation | The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) is set- ting up a LABEX laboratory on campus at Forschungszentrum Jülich. LABEX is a platform for sustainable plant and agri- cultural research. Brazilian scientists will cooperate with German research in- stitutions, scientists from Forschungs- zentrum Jülich and the Bioeconomy Sci- ence Center (BioSc). It aims to increase the yield and quality of agricultural products while simultaneously conserv- ing natural resources. Helmholtz and NREL – joint solar en- ergy research | In June 2011, the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA, agreed upon closer cooperation in solar energy research in order to fill gaps in research and to accelerate technological development. The aim is to make rapid progress in the fields of photovoltaics and solar thermal power using nanostructured materials and novel modular architectures, for exam- ple. Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Ger- man Aerospace Centre and the Helm- holtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy are representing the HGF in the collaboration. Forschungszentrum Jül- ich will concentrate mainly on investi- gating thin-film materials for solar cells. Network combating environmental problems in the Mediterranean | The French research consortium SICMED and the German TERENO-MED network of environmental observatories will work together to develop strategies for sus- tainable development in the Mediterra- nean. This region is particularly strongly affected by climate change, as reflected in drought and water shortages. French and German scientists hope to develop common solutions for adapting to global change and to set up joint observa- tories. TERENO-MED is headed by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Re- search Leipzig-Halle in cooperation with Forschungszentrum Jülich. 56 EUCAARI – Atmospheric research for climate protection | The cooling effect of aerosols or suspended particles in the atmosphere will decrease considera- bly by 2030. Measures to keep the air clean are one of the reasons for this. Furthermore, forests could lose their potential to cool the climate if tempera- tures continue to increase. These are the main findings of the European Inte- grated Project on Aerosol Cloud Climate Air Quality Interactions (EUCAARI), which was completed in spring 2012 and involved scientists from the Insti- tute of Energy and Climate Research. EUCAARI was the largest European pro- ject investigating aerosols to date. A to- tal of 48 research institutions from 24 countries worked together on the €15 million project. Fast Track – EU project for next-gener- ation stacked solar cells | Thin-film so- lar modules are an inexpensive and ver- satile alternative to solar cells made of crystalline silicon. Eighteen leading in- dustrial and research partners have joined forces in an EU Fast Track project aiming to optimize this technology. Leading representatives from research and industry are thus pooling their ex- pertise in order to integrate the best components. The aim is to produce a marketable prototype with an efficiency of twelve percent within the next three years. The project is coordinated by Forschungszentrum Jülich and will re- ceive funding to the tune of €9.3 million from the EU. Thin-film solar module made in Jülich: this type of cell is an inexpensive and versatile alternative to conventional solar cells made of crystalline silicon. The silicon is applied on the substrate in a layer that is only around one micrometre thick and does not need to be carefully cut out from expensive wafers.