The search for new solar energy technologies has led IBM and Harvard to inaugurate a program on the so-called IBM World Community Grid (thousands of individual computers all over the place) to encourage innovation and collaboration on a global scale. http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/.
The new Clean Energy Project is particularly interested in finding new organic solar energy technologies to replace the silicon wafer technology that is more cumbersome, fragile and heavy. Tens of thousands of organic compounds will be tested under the new project, which resembles a biotech search — or looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7770997.stm
For those interested in participating, look at http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/projects_showcase/cep1/viewCep1Main.do