In July 2008, Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd. ((hereinafter referred to as “Suntech”) undertook the construction of “Jiangsu Scientific & Technological Development Program (Key Research & Development Organizations Construction Projects) - Jiangsu (Suntech) Institute for Photovoltaic Technology” (hereinafter referred to as the “Institute”), which was based on Jiangsu Photovoltaic Energy Engineering Research Center. The Institute integrates and utilizes the research & development resources of Suntech and various universities under cooperation, carries out technological innovation activities centering on the improvement of product competitiveness, accelerates the upgrade of products, and facilitates the technology upgrading and the product structure adjustment in the photovoltaic industry of Jiangsu Province. The Institute also organizes various powers to develop the generic technology and key technology in the industry, and helps enterprises to solve technical difficulties; exploits products with independent intellectual property rights and high added values; and provides various services for photovoltaic enterprises in Jiangsu Province, such as quality inspection, information management, and consultation.
I. Hardware construction
The Institute possesses internationally leading chemical laboratory, physics laboratory, photolithography laboratory, diffusion laboratory, coating laboratory, laser laboratory, and inspection & analysis laboratory, and is configured with world-class research & development and testing & inspection equipment, so that the Institute can carry out international first-class photovoltaic technology research; and it also finishes the construction of the research & development site of 20,340 square meters, where over 400 sets of research &development instruments and equipment are arranged, and owns the state-of-the-art pilot-scale product line. Such complete hardware facilities lay a solid foundation for the Institute to operate well in future.
II. Construction of institutional framework
The Institute has focused on the completion of the construction of the Solar Cells Research &Development Center and the Photovoltaic Products Testing Center. The Photovoltaic Products Testing Center possesses the largest photovoltaic modules and products testing laboratory with the most advanced inspection manners in China, which is awarded the WTDP Certificate by the UL (USA), the TDAP Certificate by the VDE (Germany), the Laboratory Accreditation Certificate by China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS), and the Gold Sun Certificate for solar photovoltaic products.
III. Construction of Innovative Mechanisms
The Institute carries out construction on the basis of the existing innovation mechanism of the Enterprise Technology Center which passed the national certification in September 2008, and thus it provides a platform with high starting point for the system and mechanism construction of the Institute and a good foundation for the successful construction of the Institute. During the system and mechanism construction, the Institute has launched a series of activities: e.g., as approved by Jiangsu Provincial Science & Technology Department, the Technical Committee of the Institute leaded by two academicians has been set up; meanwhile, the specialized committee for research on solar cells and the specialized committee for testing over photovoltaic products was set up, and on November 8, 2008, the first meeting was held during which Mr. Zhu, Head of Jiangsu Provincial Science & Technology Department, delivered an important speech and placed great expectations on the construction of the Research Institute.
The Enterprise Technology Center of Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “the Center”), which passed the national certification in September, 2008, has carried out the development of several scientific research projects every year and made plentiful and substantial achievements through the years’ efforts. During the technical innovation and construction of recent years, the Center, focusing on the enterprise development strategy planning, and facing the frontier science and technology of the development of the photovoltaic industry and the industry chain, has positively formulated and implemented the enterprise technology innovation strategy and exerted itself to do construction in aspects of innovative platforms, technological innovation, and talent training, on the basis of independent scientific and technological innovation, with the emphasis on the improvement of the overall technological level of the photovoltaic industry and the key point at the building of the team of scientific and technological talents.
After approved by the National Management Office for Postdoctoral Centers as the enterprise-type branch of the Postdoctoral Scientific Research Station of Wuxi New District in October 2008, the Postdoctoral Station of Wuxi Suntech was upgraded to a national postdoctoral scientific research station as approved by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the National Management & Coordination Committee for Postdoctoral Scientific Research Stations in August 2010. The establishment of the postdoctoral scientific research station further facilitates the industry-university-research cooperation between enterprises and universities, expands the channels for absorbing highly-qualified talents, improves the technological innovation and management innovation levels and strengthens the core competitiveness.
Suntech’s application for the establishment of a national postdoctoral station is one of the key steps for creating an enterprise-type scientific research entity featured by first-class technology, quality, talent, and management, which keeps a foothold in the enterprise, faces the entire industry and looks at the whole world. During recent years’ construction of the postdoctoral station, full play has been given to Suntech’s sci-tech innovation platforms to attract top-level sci-tech innovative talents to join Suntech, and there have been one post-doctor who is still doing studies in the postdoctoral station and two post-doctors who have completed their studies. When doing studies in the postdoctoral station, the post-doctors have fully dug the advantages of related universities and enterprises and the projects they concentrate on have been all accepted by provincial-level experts and obtained the support from Jiangsu Scientific Research Fund. Suntech gradually sets up relevant management systems and full-time staff under the Institute, enhances the daily management over the post-doctoral scientific research station, creates favorable conditions for doctors to join the station, and encourages post-doctors to make more contributions to the company and society.
Jiangsu Photovoltaic Energy Engineering Research Center (hereinafter referred to as the “Engineering Center”), established on the basis of the construction of Wuxi Photovoltaic Energy Engineering Research Center with the approval from Jiangsu Provincial Science & Technology Department in June 2005, is divided into 4 functional centers based on the content of its scientific and technological activities, which are respectively the Management Center, the Solar Cell Research Center, the Photovoltaic Module Research Center, and the Photovoltaic Product Testing Center.
Since the establishment, the EngineeringCenter has gradually set up a relevant scientific research management system, standardized the process control procedures and methods for new-product development, product management, project management, intellectual property management, and management over scientific research funds and science & technology archives, and formulated several scientific & technological management regulations and systems such as the Regulations on Technology Development Project Management, the Regulations on Technology Development Project Record Management, the Administrative Measures for Identification of Scientific & Technological Achievements, the Administrative Measures for Popularization and Application of Scientific & Technological Achievements, and the Incentive Measures for Science & Technology Projects, built a research & development knowledge management platform to provide systematic management over the research & development projects of the Center, and carried out the construction and implementation of the patent management system to regularize the patent workflow and the incentive system, as well as reinforced the Enterprise’s protection for independent intellectual property rights.
The EngineeringCenter practices an open management mode, takes topics and projects as the link, and gathers excellent scientific talents both at home and abroad. At present, it has established the system of expert review for projects so as to ensure the full assessment over the technical and economic feasibility of projects; it has also set up the project responsibility system where the R&D Department will make nomination and the Director of the Engineering Center will do the review jointly with the experts from the Technical Committee to confirm the persons in charge of specific projects and topics; additionally, it has prepared the quantitative evaluation method in which the scientific research achievements and benefits are closely linked with the personal interests of the personnel undertaking the projects as well as the incentive and encouragement policy where no ceiling but minimum guarantee is provided for the income of the scientific research personnel.
As an enterprise-type scientific and technological innovation platform and the generic technology research & development platform of the photovoltaic industry of Jiangsu Province, the Engineering Center will always follow the construction standard of “Six Haves” and “Five Top Classes” in future, combine the actual situation ofSuntech, consummate independent research & development places, complete facilities and equipment, capable and high-efficiency innovation teams, development-supporting research & development business, future-guiding output indicators, and openly operating systems and mechanisms, and complete research & development facilities and talents so as to achieve constant self-perfection and self-development around the aim at being international first-class and continuously obtain obvious results in the aspects like scientific research management mechanism and scientific & technology achievements.