A team of experts from the University of Birmingham is partnering with the Government of Telangana State, India, to form a new research hub for the advancement of eco-friendly cooling technology for food production businesses across India.
The innovation site will be called the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain, and will aim to develop more affordable low-emission cooling systems for the country.
The energy-efficient refrigerators are also urgently needed for the storage of vaccines.
The research centre will connect the UK and India’s expert researchers with investors, energy suppliers, agrifood companies and agricultural cooperatives, and will also feature a new testing and demonstration facility.
Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary to Government and Commissioner Industrial Promotion at the Industries and Commerce Department for the Government of Telangana said:“Telangana and Hyderabad are well-connected at the heart of India and our businesses rely on efficient cold-chain logistics. The Centre of Excellence will connect Indian and British experts, investors and businesses to support the achievement of affordable, energy resilient, low emission cold-chain systems in India. This facility will provide better logistics and sustainable solutions for the produce get to market quickly and efficiently. I assure full support from the Government of Telangana in making this happen.”
The University of Birmingham and UN Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (UNEP U4E) initiative will lead the new project.
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will support the project with technical assistance funding.
The partnership expands on the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain, initiated in 2020 by the British Government, Rwanda Centre for Sustainable Cooling, UNEP U4E, and the University of Rwanda.
Steve Cowperthwaite, Head of International Stratospheric Ozone and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases at DEFRA, commented: “Building on the ground-breaking work in Africa we are delivering, this partnership will support real opportunities for change that can boost climate friendly, sustainable cold chains in India – offering real hope for progress in reducing food waste while simultaneously cutting emissions.”
Toby Peters, Professor of Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham, added: “Working with Telangana will allow us to really expand the work across sustainable cold-chains for food and vaccines, localising solutions to the environment in Telangana with the skills and business models needed to l help accelerate the transition to sustainable cooling – regionally and nationally.”