The University of Cyprus on Monday announced the launch of a new project, in which it will link with foreign organisations, aiming to stimulate excellence and innovation capacity at the DegradationLab of the PV Technology Laboratory, in the field of long-term stability and field reliability testing of new and emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

The project is titled TESTARE, which stands for ‘Twinning for excellence in TEsting new generation PV: Long-term STAbility and field REliability’.

“This is a new partnership that brings together four countries, Cyprus, Belgium, Germany and Israel,” the university said in a statement.

Moreover, the university said that the coordinator for the project is the DegradationLab, a new research strategic unit of the PV Technology Laboratory which is an integral part of the FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Cyprus.

According to the announcement, the TESTARE project has been selected for funding by the European Commission in the context of the Twinning Topic of the ‘Widening participation and spreading excellence’ component of the Horizon Europe Programme.

What is more, the total funding amount for the project is €1.49 million and the funding for the University of Cyprus amounts to €557,500.

The project team comprises the University of Cyprus (UCY) and internationally-leading research institutions, namely the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) from Belgium, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems from Germany, as well as the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) from Israel.

The university explained that key activities will include knowledge transfer, exchange of best practices between the University of Cyprus and leading partners, industrial networking and infrastructure sharing.

“The project will also focus on enhancing research management and administration capabilities at UCY to improve and make its research ecosystem more sustainable whilst the leading partners will gain access to new markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,” the announcement stated.

“An exploratory research project will also take place within TESTARE, assessing the performance and lifetime of perovskite on silicon tandem modules, which are considered extremely promising for low-cost and highly flexible photovoltaics suitable for integration into the urban environment,” it added.

The university further noted that the TESTARE project “is expected to lead to long-term ties between the partners which will enhance the research and innovation ecosystem of Cyprus”.

The official launch date of the TESTARE was January 1, 2023, and the project is scheduled to have a duration of 36 months.

The announcement also said that the kick-off meeting for the project was successfully held at the University of Cyprus on February 9, 2023, and concluded the following day.

Regarding Horizon Europe, which the project falls under, this refers to the European Union’s key funding programme for research and innovation and has a total budget of €95.5 billion.

According to the EU, the programme is designed to tackle climate change, help to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boost the union’s competitiveness and growth.

Moreover, the programme seeks to facilitate collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It also supports the creation and better dispersion of excellent knowledge and technologies.

Finally, the EU has said that the programme “creates jobs, fully engages the EU’s talent pool, boosts economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness and optimises investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area”.