Modern cold chain technology is essential to the agricultural sector. Cold chains manage the temperature of perishable goods from farm to table, maintaining quality and safety in the supply chain, reducing food loss and increasing food supplies.
Cold chains have the potential to significantly improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers. However, modern cold chain technology is often out of reach in off-grid areas in developing markets due its cost, a lack of access to electricity and the wide variety of uncoordinated stakeholders in the broader cold chain.
To help solve these problems, in March 2018 Ideas to Impact partnered with Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative to launch the Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC), which aims to identify the world’s most innovative off-grid cold chain technologies. OGCCC is also building a foundational understanding of how cold chain technologies must adapt to function with off-grid energy systems and what constitutes a high-quality off-grid cold chain solution. By doing so, it is accelerating the development of a commercial market for this technology.
The OGCCC will offer £250,000 in prizes for off-grid cold chain technologies deployed in select sub-Saharan countries.
Showing significant geographical diversity, the first stage of the competition received entries from 12 countries across five continents.
In August 2018, we announced the 10 finalists, which were selected by 14 expert judges after evaluating 28 entries based on financial viability, potential end-user impact, understanding of the product’s target market and overall sustainability.
The 10 finalists are:
- DGrid Energy
- EcoZen Solutions
- Inviro Choice Solutions
- The Off Grid Factory
- Tiger Power
These innovative tech companies have received £10,000 each to deploy their cold storage systems in one of 11 target countries.
The winner of the second stage will be announced in 2019.