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UK and India collaborate on sustainable cooling

UK/INDIA: The University of Birmingham is joining with the Government of Telangana State in southern India to create a centre of excellence for sustainable cooling innovation.

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.

The project will be led by 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).

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

The partnership builds on the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES) established in 2020 by the governments of the UK and Rwanda, Centre for Sustainable Cooling, United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency initiative and the University of Rwanda.

“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,” said Jayesh Ranjan of the Telangana government’s promotion, industries & commerce department. “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 partnership aims to set up a solutions development laboratory, solutions demonstration centre, model pack-house and community cooling hub. Upskilling and training programmes will be created 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,” commented Steve Cowperthwaite, Defra’s head of international stratospheric ozone and fluorinated greenhouse gases.

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

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