Press release

SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II winners announced by DSM, Fraunhofer TechBridge™ and Greentown Labs

Parsippany NJ, US, 27 Jun 2017 17:00 CEST

Four early-stage companies are announced as the winners of the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II, which was designed to identify innovative solutions to reduce the levelized cost of electricity for photovoltaic (PV) systems.  SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II is a collaboration between Royal DSM, Fraunhofer TechBridge™, and Greentown Labs. The awards include Greentown Labs Start-up Acceleration program, technical validation services from the Fraunhofer R&D network, and eligibility for investment by DSM Venturing and/or partnership with DSM Advanced Solar.

The SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II follows the success of the first SunRISE TechBridge Challenge in 2016, where five winners were selected and two awardees – QD Solar and WattGlass received DSM Venturing investments.

56 applications were received by the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II. Based on a multi-stage review process we are very pleased to announce the following winners and awards:

  • Leading Edge Crystal Technologies (Cambridge, MA)
    Novel manufacturing process to make silicon wafers with higher efficiency and lower cost that fit into the existing module manufacturing processes without any changes.
  • NOMADD Desert Solar Solutions (Saudi Arabia)
    Low-cost waterless automated solar panel cleaning mechanism, which significantly reduces yield losses due to dust.
  • SunDensity (Boston, MA)
    Proprietary photonic technology to produce nano-coated solar glass that maximizes conversion of solar radiation into electric power.
  • SunSniffer (Germany)
    Low-cost module-integrated sensor for monitoring PV systems in real-time, enabling increase of energy output and lower maintenance costs.

All awardees will receive Greentown Launch and DSM Partnership/Investment Eligibility awards. In addition, one of the awardees will receive the Fraunhofer Validation Study. Award details are as follows:

Greentown Labs Start-up Acceleration (“Greentown Launch”)

Greentown Launch delivers high quality, solar-PV-specific acceleration training for solar start-ups that enables participants to obtain feedback and insight directly from future customers, fine-tune business models and go-to-market strategies, and develop investment plans in partnership with DSM and Greentown Labs’ acceleration team and experts.

Fraunhofer Validation Study Award

The winner will receive a validation project with the Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE in Boston, MA, sponsored by DSM. Through this award, the awardee can access the global technical validation services from the world-renowned Fraunhofer R&D network, thereby accelerating the technology development of the awardee. DSM, Fraunhofer CSE and the awardee will jointly tailor the validation project.

DSM Partnership/Investment Eligibility Award

The awardees will work closely with DSM to determine key technology and business roadmap milestones, and investigate opportunities for collaboration/investment. Based on the outcomes of this effort and with mutual consent, a formal partnership/investment may be agreed upon in the second half of 2017.

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE is an applied research and development laboratory dedicated to building tomorrow’s energy future today. Our staff’s expertise in solar photovoltaics, smart energy-efficient buildings, and grid technologies provides a platform for deeply integrating distributed energy resources through collaborative R&D with private companies, government entities, and academic institutions. Fraunhofer CSE is one of seven centers of Fraunhofer USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit contract R&D organization, a subsidiary of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Europe's largest contract R&D organization. More information can be found at:

Launched at Fraunhofer CSE in 2010, the Fraunhofer TechBridge™ program identifies and de-risks promising technologies to solve industry challenges. By performing targeted technical searches and conducting validation and demonstration work, TechBridge evaluates and prepares innovative early-stage products for investors and industry.

Greentown Labs

Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating game-changing energy technologies that transform the way we live, work and play. Located in Somerville, Mass., Greentown Labs is the largest cleantech incubator in the United States, operating a 40,000-square-foot facility that enables entrepreneurs to solve today’s biggest energy and environmental problems. Greentown Labs hosts a constant stream of events and programs for the cleantech community and tours more than 10,000 visitors from around the world each year. Its mission is to enable a vibrant community of entrepreneurs to realize their visions by providing access to the resources, labs and funding they need to thrive. In October 2017, Greentown Labs will open its Global Center for Cleantech Innovation, providing an additional 58,000 sq. ft. of prototyping, office and event space for 50 additional startups. To learn more about the expansion and Greentown Labs, please visit

For more information

Hugh Welsh

DSM North America
+1 973 257 8208

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