A proposal was prepared in December 2009 within the context of the Research Infrastructures Call FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2010-1. After a successful evaluation, the Sophia project started in February 2011 for a period of 4 years.
The Sophia objectives are :
1. to join forces of partners from academia and research institutes in order to address some specific challenges of solar photovoltaic energy such as :
- the characterisation and understanding of some materials : silicon, TCOs, thin films, polymers, etc.
- the modelling of cells, modules and systems
- the performance evaluation of modules and systems, including CPV and BIPV systems
2. to give access to European researchers to a unique portfolio of laboratories and test facilities in the field of photovoltaics. This will ensure that a large number of scientists from the EU and the Associated States can benefit from expensive equipment, helping in maintaining Europe leadership in this strategic sector.