The Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was founded by merging the former Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin (HMI) and the Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY). As member of the Helmholtz-Association, HZB is financed by federal government (90 percent) and city state Berlin (10 percent). The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) operates two scientific large scale facilities for investigating the structure and function of matter: the research reactor BER II for experiments with neutrons and the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II, producing ultra-bright photon beams ranging from Terahertz to hard X-rays. In the department of solar energy our scientists are working on the next generation of solar cells, including new kinds of materials and innovative cell structures. Long-term goals are to develop efficient and competitive thin film solar cells and multispectral cells. Thin-film technologies are developed to a stage where industrial applications can follow as the next step. As cofounder of the Photovoltaic Competence Centre (PVcomB) HZB supports the technology transfer to the industry.