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Description of the organisation

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) is the oldest and largest of the Spanish Technical Universities. Currently, it has more than 3000 faculty members, around 38.000 undergraduate students, and around 6.000 postgraduate students. UPM’s Schools cover most Engineering disciplines. UPM has more than 200 Research Units and a dozen of Research Institutes and Technological Centres, among which the IES-UPM (Instituto de Energía Solar) is devoted exclusively to photovoltaic research.

At present, it has over 60 staff members, which include almost 20 full-time professors and more than 30 PhD students. It is one of the pioneering research centres on photovoltaic energy worldwide, leading the development of cutting-edge ideas allowing its better use.

Prof. Antonio Luque founded the Institute in 1979, which probably makes it the oldest research centre worldwide devoted to solar energy. The IES is currently led by Prof. Gabriel Sala. Its lines of research cover six areas: Photovoltaic Systems, Systems and Instruments Integration, III-V Semiconductors, Silicon Technology, Fundamental Studies and Quantum Calculations.

Committed to a collaborative research philosophy, during its 35 year history the IES has coor-dinated several projects of high impact and scope, both leading research and securing funding. Some of them have been recognized in the USA and Japan as a source of inspiration for the implementation of their own R&D strategies, and have been classified as a clear example of success by the European Commission.

Research allowing generation of disruptive ideas, innovation for industry, and human enthu¬siasm to contribute to the deployment and penetration of renewable energies into the society of the XXI century have been, and still are, the factors making the IES a worldwide reference centre.

Main contact

Carlos del Cañizo

+34 914533550





Role in the Project

IES-UPM is enrolled in the Cheetah Project through the Coordination and Support Activities (CSA). His role is:

  • To disseminate the Cheetah project results among its network of R&D and academic partners in Spain, Europe and abroad, and contribute to a reflection on how to promote partnerships in Europe and at the international level towards a more integrated R&D on Photovoltaics.

  • To contribute to the inventory of infrastructures and knowledge in Photovoltaic at the European level, to look for synergies, complementarity and efficiency.

  • To disseminate the formation activities promoted by Cheetah partners in UPM and partner universities.

  • To bring new ideas to the core of the Cheetah project, helping to enrich the project goals and to discuss on next steps in European R&D on Photovoltaics and offering its long experience of collaboration with industrial partners so that the strategies of the research centers and the industries are aligned.


Key people involved

Antonio Luque.
Prof. Luque is the founder of the Solar Energy Institute and the leader of the Silicion and Fundamental Studies research group. MSc in Telecommunication Engineering (Technical University of Madrid, 1964), MSc in Solid State Physics (University of Toulouse, 1965), DSc in Telecommunication Engineering (1967). He holds several important prizes and distinctions. In 1976 he invented the bifacial cell and founded in 1981 ISOFOTON, a wellknown cell and module producer. The establishment of the silicon ultrapurification research company CENTESIL, owned by two universities and three corporations, is another recent contribution. He is also the Chair of the Scientific International Committee of the ISFOC institute for CPV systems established under his plan to stimulate the introduction of the CPV technology worldwide. He invented with Prof. Martí the Intermediate Band Solar Cell in 1997, a third generation concept that has attracted lot of attention of the scientific community worldwide.



Antonio Martí.
Prof. Marti graduated in Physics in 1987 and got his Ph. D in 1992. He received one of the awards granted by Universidad Politecnica de Madrid to the best Ph. D Thesis and Young Best Researcher. Since 2007, he is Chair Prof. at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. His carrier has been devoted to Photovoltaics and, more specifically to the study of its fundamentals. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In these works, together with his co-authors, he has studied, for example, the role of photon recycling in photovoltaic energy conversion, calculated the efficiency limits and proposed novel solar cells such as the intermediate band solar cell (together with Prof. Luque).



Carlos del Cañizo. Carlos del Cañizo is Engineer in Telecommunications, and has been involved in Photovoltaics since 1994. He received the PhD degree from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2000. He has been the Director of the Institute in the last five years, and is the responsible of the Silicon Technology Programme. He has a long experience in fabrication and characterisation of solar cells, and also works on the topic of silicon ultrapurification for photovoltaic applications. He has participated in around 25 R&D projects, 8 of them funded by EU, and produced more than 40 papers. He is representing the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid at European forums (European Energy Research Alliance, European Materials Industrial Research Initiative).



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