The Technological Institute for Solar Energy, Low Emissions Mining and Advanced Materials of Lithium and other materials, will be set up with a mixture of public funding and 30% private investment.

The planned new center is part of CORFO’s efforts to promote solar power.

Chile’s government-owned Production Development Corporation (CORFO) has published a request for information or expression of interests for the development of a Technological Institute for Solar Energy, Low Emissions Mining and Advanced Lithium Materials and other materials.

Economic growth organization CORFO said in a statement that during the six-month preparatory phase of the bidding process it expects to receive and evaluate the proposals of all the institutions that want to be part of the initiative.

Proposals will be considered for the three research areas planned for the center – solar energy, low-emission mining and advanced materials associated with lithium and other minerals for electromobility and energy storage.

“This is an invitation to both Chilean and foreign companies to form consortia,” said CORFO vice-president, Sebastián Sichel Ramírez. “There are the right incentives for the three major sectors: for the state to establish border conditions; for the universities, so that they develop the research they always dreamed of; and for the companies to contribute, and not only by applying, but to participate in co-financing.”

Among other initiatives supporting PV, CORFO is implementing a Development of Photovoltaic Solar Energy Technologies for Desert Climates and High Radiation program, aimed at developing technologies to respond to desert and high irradiation conditions in areas such as the Atacama desert. The program supports collaboration between companies and technology centers focusing on applied research in PV systems, and contributes co-financing of up to 70% of the total cost of successful projects – with a maximum of $12 million – via a non-refundable subsidy.