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Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge

The first of its kind, Global LEAP’s OGCCC is an international competition to identify and promote the most energy-efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective technologies that can meet the cold storage requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Integral to agricultural productivity, 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. 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.

Launched in 2018, the OGCCC is focused on cold storage containers in key off-grid markets and consists of two stages:

  • The first stage evaluates existing products or prototypes from around the world to identify the most promising technology solutions and business models.
  • The second stage assesses the technical performance of a shortlist of the most promising products identified in stage one via a field testing process.

Of the 10 finalists selected to move on to stage 2, six were able to set up their cold storage units on location. Of these, only four could put their cold units to productive use. Three out of four were local manufacturers.

An expert panel of four judges selected a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place solutions. The judges’ selections and the corresponding prize amounts awarded to each company are as follows:

  • 1st Place – ColdHubs - £75,000
  • 2nd Place – EcoZen - £50,000
  • 3rd Place – FreshBox - £25,000
  • Runner Up – Ecolife

In June 2020, Efficiency for Access and Energy 4 Impact co-hosted a webinar highlighting the lessons learned from the OGCCC. Check out the Webinar here.