The Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy (CHOSE) was founded in 2006 from the will of the Lazio Region and the University of Rome Tor Vergata to create a center of excellence in the field of next-generation photovoltaics. CHOSE is distributed across several laboratories, both within the University Campus of Tor Vergata and the Technopole Tiburtino. The latter consists of a 400 square meter laboratory that houses equipment for the fabrication and characterization of organic, hybrid, dye sensitized and perovskite photovoltaic cells, modules and panels and 150 square meters of office space for the incubation of spin-offs generated from research at CHOSE. The other laboratories, totalling roughly 300 square meters in extension, are located within different departments of Tor Vergata. At CHOSE there work more than 30 researchers including graduate students, postdocs and staff. CHOSE has also many collaborations at the regional, national and international levels.
The main objectives of CHOSE consist in the development of fabrication processes for organic and hybrid organic / inorganic solar devices, the definition of a process for the industrialization of these innovative photovoltaic technologies, the technological transfer of these and the development of photovoltaic applications in collaboration with companies at both the domestic and international level.
CHOSE also proposes itself as a reference point for photovoltaic technologies and their applications. In particular, in order to develop specific knowledge within the fields of both conventional and innovative photovoltaics and to prepare profiles of workers that are able to operate over the whole photovoltaic value chain, CHOSE manages a Masters degree course on "Photovoltaic Engineering" and an International School called ISOPHOS dedicated to PhD students and researchers.
After 9 years of operation, CHOSE has trained more than 100 profiles among undergraduates, masters students, PhD students, post-docs and has contributed to the spread of photovoltaic concepts also in primary and secondary schools. These actions have enabled CHOSE to capitalize on the intellectual potential present in the region and to mitigate the phenomenon of the brain drain that is dangerously undermining the innovation capacity of the Italian system.
At the international level, CHOSE is part of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), the largest European platform for the development of research and technologies in the energy field and is a member of the famous Graphene Flagship, the most important European research action on graphene and related materials. Since its founding, CHOSE has participates or has participated in more than 10 European projects.
As mentioned, the main purpose of CHOSE, in addition to innovation in the field of photovoltaics, consists in the technology transfer of research developed within its laboratories. This is typically done by creating spin-off of public-private consortia or through direct cooperation with other SMEs or large companies.
Through such technology transfer actions, CHOSE has spun-off four companies (Dyers Ltd., Intellienergia Ltd., TiberLab Ltd., and Ingem Ltd.) that operate at various levels, in the design and realization of photovoltaic systems and in related technologies. The spin-offs altogether employ more than 20 people, mostly under 40s. CHOSE is also currently in the process of founding a new spin-off dedicated to the development of applications in the field of flexible photovoltaics.
CHOSE, as the University of Rome "Tor Vergata", is also a member of the public-private consortium "Dyepower" together with the company "Permasteelisa", which is world leader in the field of glass facades for building integration, and the universities of Ferrara and Turin. The objective of the Consortium concerns the development of a technological process and a pilot line for the production of photovoltaic panels on glass with Dye Solar Cell (DSC) technology, aimed at Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) architectural applications. The characteristics of high translucence, good colour control and architectural integration, make DSC photovoltaics an ideal technology not only for integration outdoors under the sun but also indoors under artificial lighting.