Low emission cold-chain systems: Birmingham University, TS government inks MoU

The University of Birmingham has announced that its experts will be joining the Telangana government to create a ‘hot spot’ for sustainable cooling innovation to accelerate the deployment of energy-efficient refrigeration for food and vaccine supply chains across India.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  4 March 2022 3:21 AM GMT
Low emission cold-chain systems: Birmingham University, TS government inks MoU

Hyderabad: The University of Birmingham has announced that its experts will be joining the Telangana government to create a 'hot spot' for sustainable cooling innovation to accelerate the deployment of energy-efficient refrigeration for food and vaccine supply chains across India.

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham, and Jayesh Ranjan IAS, Principal Secretary to Government & Commissioner Industrial Promotion, Industries & Commerce Department Government of Telangana signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday in an online ceremony.

The University of Birmingham is one of the world's top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers, and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.

The Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain will conduct state-of-the-art applied research in food and vaccine distribution, supporting the roll-out of affordable, energy resilient, low emission cold-chain systems in India.

Connecting British and Indian experts with investors, agri-food businesses, farmer co-operatives, and energy or logistics providers, the Centre will provide capacity building and training. An innovation hub and technology testing/demonstration facility is planned.

The partnership builds on the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES) and will be led by the University of Birmingham and UN Environment Programme's United for Efficiency (UNEP U4E) with technical assistance funding from the UK Government's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

Furthermore, ACES' 'hub-and-spoke' design will be adapted for operations in India - enhancing research and development capacity through a network of Specialized Outreach and Knowledge Establishments (SPOKEs) deploying technologies and innovative business models in rural communities.

Speaking at the ceremony, Jayesh Ranjan said Telangana and Hyderabad are well-connected at the heart of India and their 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 products to get to market quickly and efficiently. I assure full support from the Government of Telangana in making this happen," he said

The University of Birmingham will provide research expertise and involve UK technology experts and industry in establishing the Centre of Excellence. Telangana government plans to provide land and infrastructure, staff and resources, as well as a financial contribution towards establishing, operating, and maintaining the Centre.

"Working with Telangana will allow us to really expand the work across sustainable cold-chains for food and vaccines, localizing 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," Toby Peters, Professor of Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham, said.

The partnership aims to set up a Solutions Development Laboratory, Solutions Demonstration Centre, model pack-house, and Community Cooling Hub. The SPOKEs will deliver upskilling and training programmes for farmers and local agri-businesses, agri-start-ups and entrepreneurs, equipment technicians, and researchers.

"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," said Steve Cowperthwaite, Head of International Stratospheric Ozone and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases, Defra.

UK Technical Collaboration will be led by the Centre of Sustainable Cooling (University of Birmingham) supported by its partners - Cranfield, London South Bank, Heriot-Watt Universities, and UN U4E.

"I am delighted by the pace the establishment of this Centre of Excellence is coming to fruition and excited for the positive benefits it stands to bring both the agriculture and health sectors. This will benefit both Telugu speaking states and the wider nation as some of the sharpest innovators from the UK and India are connected in an area that will improve people's lives in the same way as a sister facility in Kigali, Rwanda has begun to do across the African continent," said Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner said.

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