Two IREC researchers get a PIONER award in 2023

  • Energy and environment
  • Smart energy management

Within the framework of Research Centres of Catalonia, the CERCA Institute has launched the Premis PIONER awards to recognise those researchers who have presented a doctoral thesis with results that are clearly aimed at commercial exploitation. The awards aim to recognise those researchers working in one of the CERCA centres who, in the period between the publication date of the 2023 call for applications and this year’s call for applications publication date, have presented a doctoral thesis through which they propose to initiate or improve the development of a technology or product that may have an industrial or commercial application or might even make a significant specific contribution to the development of public policy.

This action has the support of private sector entities, representing a good example of a public-private initiative to promote innovation. The collaborating institutions are Caixa d’Enginyers, Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació (FCRI) and the The Collider de Mobile World Capital Barcelona programme.

Robert Fonoll, researcher from the Solar Energy Materials and Systems group, and Mattia Barbero, from the Energy Systems Analytics group, have gotten a Pioner 2023 award, given to the best PhD thesis performed at a CERCA research institute with a clear orientation to the market. The award was delivered today, 20th December 2023 at the CERCA headquarters.

The PhD thesis of Robert is entitled “Advanced Characterization of Interfaces of the Chalcogenide-Based Absorbers for the Thin Film Photovoltaic Technologies“, which presents process monitoring methodologies that have been applied successfully in industrial conditions and, therefore, open the way to reduce manufacturing defects, waste, and production costs of photovoltaic devices.

The PhD thesis of Mattia is entitled ” Demand aggregator optimal strategies: from the bidding to the execution “, which combines artificial intelligence and mathematical optimization to enable the active participation of consumers in energy and flexibility markets through a demand aggregator, and is now the core of Bamboo Energy, an IREC spin-off that already counts on 20 employees.

You can download today’s press release in Catalan here:

The CERCA Institution coordinates the 41 research centers of the CERCA system distributed throughout the Catalan territory. Constituted as a foundation, it has a fundamental objective to guarantee the development of the system of Catalan research centers and work for corporate, institutional and scientific projection. Find more information in the CERCA webpage.