The Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC), located at the University of Delaware, is the oldest solar energy research institute in the world. [ citation needed ] It was established by Karl Boer in 1972 to pioneer research on thin film solar cells .  The IEC performs independent research and collaborates with students and graduates in solar cell engineering. In 2011, the organization was the highest recipient of the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative$ 9.1 million to research next generation solar cells to reduce the cost of solar cells by 75 percent by the end of the decade. 
- Jump up^ “Institute of Energy Conversion at the University of Delaware” . Udel.edu . Retrieved 2012-08-13 .
- Jump up^ “UD wins $ 9.1 million in advanced solar research grants” . Udel.edu. 2011-09-09 . Retrieved 2012-08-13 .