The activities of the Photovoltaics research programme encompass research, development and implementation of photovoltaics and its various components. A broad variety of players are involved in the programme, including:
Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER), the Innovation Promotion Agency (CTI), Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (DCPS), Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The main aims of the Photovoltaics research programme are to promote an internationally competitive, export-oriented industry, and to secure the necessary integration of photovoltaics into the future electricity networks landscape. Thus the priorities of the Photovoltaics research programme include industry orientation, promotion of international cooperation and close coordination with the electricity sector.
In accordance with the CORE (Swiss Federal Energy Research Commission) federal energy research concept for the period from 2008 to 2012, a high degree of priority is to be attached to photovoltaics as before in view of Switzerland's strong position in the field of research in this area, the fast progress with respect to implementation, the rapidly expanding industry, and the significant potential of photovoltaics research.
The SFOE is responsible for coordination of the programme, and is supported by various other federal, cantonal and municipal authorities. Implementation is carried out at involved universities, the two Federal Institutes of Technology (in Zurich and Lausanne), various colleges of technology, engineering and industrial companies, and the energy industry.
The programme focuses on industry and applications, and aims to develop suitable solutions in the various priority areas for cutting the costs of energy systems based on photovoltaics, and on creating the prerequisites for further implementation.