Startups stimulating the off-grid cold chain technology stand a chance to win £250,000 from the Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC).
The competition, set to develop innovative and energy-efficient off-grid cold storage technology – launched today in Nairobi, Kenya as part of the UK Department for International Development’s (DfID)’s Ideas to Impact programme.
The OGCCC will offer £250,000 in prizes for off-grid cold chain technologies deployed in select Sub-Saharan African countries where more than 40% of food losses occur during post-harvest and processing.
Establishing sustainable and energy-efficient cold chains would enable these countries to raise food supply by 15% – about 250 million tonnes.
“Lack of proper temperature management and cold storage causes farmers in off-grid areas to suffer significant post-harvest food loss, leading to reduced profits and increased vulnerability. A commercially sustainable cold chain would allow farmers to diversify production to include high-value perishable crops, link them to regional and international markets, and increase earnings,” says Simon Collings, Energy Access Theme Lead, Ideas to Impact and Director of Learning and Innovation at Energy 4 Impact.
The goal of the competition is to stimulate innovation and investment in the sector and help to drive market development, bringing prices down for those who need it most. Innovation prizes of up to £50,000 will be awarded to cold storage technologies that demonstrate energy efficiency, off-grid appropriateness, scalability and feasibility of deployment, with opportunities for further development. Shortlisted technologies will receive an innovation prize of £10,000 to cover shipping and set-up costs.
Nominations close 26 May 2018 with shortlisted technologies announced in September 2018 for product testing and verification, and final prize winners revealed in March 2019.
Cold storage facilities can be an insulated pre-fabricated cold room, a brick-and-mortar cold room, or a modified shipping container with appropriate air-conditioning or refrigeration system, as long as they can provide cooling and refrigeration for storing produce or dairy products and are powered primarily using renewable energy sources.
The OGCCC has been developed in partnership with Energy 4 Impact with support from Ideas to Impact, a DfID-funded programme that uses innovation prizes to stimulate solutions to development challenges across energy access, climate change adaptation and water, sanitation and hygiene, and Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative.