Clean energy tech developer Verditek has partnered with graphene specialist Paragraf to develop what they claim will be the world’s first graphene-based solar panel.

AIM-listed Verditek and Paragraf have agreed terms under a joint development programme which will see the former’s solar technology combined with the latter’s proprietary manufacturing processes involving large-scale graphene.

The aim is to investigate, develop and verify how graphene and solar cells can be combined, which the duo says could lead to the development of a new generation of robust, lightweight panels that could “potentially revolutionise the photovoltaic market”.

Verditek currently possesses two panel manufacturing lines in San Marino, Italy, with a combined capacity of 50MW.

Paragraf meanwhile has collaborated with the University of Cambridge for new graphene manufacturing processes.

Geoff Nesbitt, non-executive chairman at Verditek, described the programme as an “exciting development” for both companies.

“The opportunity to apply the breakthrough graphene production technique developed by Paragraf to the Verditek solar cells moves us both to the cutting edge of the solar industry,” he said.

Simon Thomas, CEO at Paragraf, added that improvements in the commercial viability of graphene in such applications as renewable energy required “well founded, proven technology and cutting-edge R&D”.

“The synergy of Verditek market disrupting solar cell design with Paragraf’s revolutionary materials has the potential to dramatically advance todays solar energy generation capabilities, providing a potentially market defining opportunity for the partnership,” Thomas said.

To help power the programme, Verditek carried out an equity raise of £1.3 million through the issuing of more than 14 million new ordinary shares priced at 9 pence.

Nesbitt said that the proceeds would allow the firm to build further momentum in the market.