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Ensuring vaccine temperature stability in rapidly growing urban areas including transient convolutions where power is minimal or unavailable

Provide solar cooling for vaccines, but also habitats and food produce, building healthy environments when rapid urbanisation occurs.

Photo of Paul Collins
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one to two sentences (required 350 Characters)

Solar Polar will provide the transformative Solar Thermal solution that will have a great impact on the way fast growing Urban populations cope with settling, especially with health and well being in mind. The vaccine and medicine protected where it is most needed, often in areas without sound infrastructure and services like electricity.

Explain the innovation (2,500 characters)

As I write this the world will be aware of the latest impact of Cyclone Idai, devastating massive territories in East Africa, affecting thousands of people. Imagine if only we could be ready right NOW, to mobilise containers set up for delivering and maintaining the vital vaccine and medicines needed for example. Imagine each region having this available and each unaffected region able to contribute as a collective. Vast populations live in regions of the world where electricity provision is unreliable or even non-existent, especially when all of a sudden people have to mobilise, impacted by disaster or conflict. When as much as 75% of vaccines and medicines can be rendered unusable because of inconsistent critical temperature control, ideally +3 to +10 degrees. For example by Freeze Damage say in Ice Boxes. Solar Polar's technology was originally conceived as a solution to ensure vaccine stability. It has also evolved into a system that can provide cool air, warm air, potentially non-potable water in humid regions which with the addition of minerals can be made drinkable. With the extra advantages of doing so without electricity, has no moving parts (minimum maintenance), silent and emits no CO2 or other Greenhouse Gasses. Produces the cheapest watt of cooling available today. The benefit are multiple, vaccine integrity, also crop/produce chilling at point of production or domestic storage (if Greenhouse Gasses emitted by wasted rotten food was counted a country it would be the 3rd largest), Using the free power of the Sun the equipment utilises a revolutionary Solar Thermal patented technology (not Photovoltaic panels that produce power to then run equipment), primarily to provide cooling. Not only can we maintain vaccines then, but chill the room and chill the food purchased to stop spoilage. Imagine the holistic health benefits for all. A healthier environment and nutrition as well. Our solution can be used in ways that benefit the urban population, the people and organisations helping them. All without damaging our environment which needs protecting also. We need to protect the planet as well as the people as if we do not, more suffering will abound and all will be lost. It needs an holistic approach, which we believe we have.

Which part(s) of the world does this innovation target?

  • North Africa
  • Eastern Africa
  • Middle Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Western Africa
  • Caribbean
  • South America
  • Central Asia
  • Eastern Asia
  • South-eastern Asia
  • Southern Asia
  • Western Asia
  • Oceania

Geographic Focus

As can be seen by the UNHCR map above there are rapidly growing Urban communities in many regions of the world, in this case driven by refugees. As of 30 June 2018, UNHCR reported a total population of concern of 70.4 million people. The countries and regions are multiple and shift with events.

Stage of Innovation

  • Pilot

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We will work with government bodies, NGOs and any organisation capable of impacting the issues faced. An example is the research and partnership with our Indian partners Mamata, where we are conducting trials in Ahmedabad, in the first instance focused on the chilling of milk at the farm as up to 50% of milk produced is thrown away because there is a lack of cooling affordable to the farmer, so the very start of the cool chain is broken already.

How is your idea unique? (750 characters)

This is a Solar Thermal solution not Photovoltaic, it has no moving parts (low maintenance) and silent in operation, does not need electricity, creates no CO2. The elements within it do not need replenishing and will still exist 50 years from now. According to the World Health Organisation photovoltaic vaccine storage systems have only on average a 17month lifespan, which is not enough for sustainable longterm use. Creates cooling, and is free to run as solar powered. Also potentially heating, hot water, grey water in humid climates and if then treated drinkable. A solar thermal charger for phones/tech. Developed in part at Imperial College London, the UK’s premier science university and LSBU with registered office in Peterborough UK.

What is the name of your organization

Solar Polar. A UK company.

Explain your organization (250 characters)

We design solar thermal technology that can be used to allow the free resource of the sun to produce cooling for many applications. All our work is focused on protecting the planet and hence the people on it. Vaccine protection being paramount.

Type of Submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organizational Characteristics

  • Engineering and Scientific design organisation.

Gender and Diversity (500 characters)

By providing ability to keep foodstuff chilled, preventing the need to trek and shop and cook all day, freeing the cook, usually the women, to do other things, education, work, and in this case have more time to seek healthcare and vaccination services. This is still relevant in Urban regions. We are only a very small group of people, but as we grow we will be open and inclusive to all gender and inclusive in our recruitment policies. Our main drive is equity for all. We can enable this.

Organization Location (less than 250 Characters)

HQ Peterborough UK. Project Partner Mamata in Ahmedabad India.

Size of organization (number of employees):

  • 6-20 people

Website URL

Scale of organizational work

  • Global (within 2 or more global regions)

Tell us more about you

We also have a Chairman Stef Kranendijk, Stef is an affiliate partner at SYSTEMIQ and was recently Chairman of the Dutch Sustainability Business Association. Plus our Finance Director Edward Leek. Edward is a chartered accountant and previously a partner with KPMG. He has international experience having worked in Brazil.

Applying to Gavi INFUSE

  • OpenIDEO Website
  • Invited to read the challenge brief by OpenIDEO as working with them on another vaccine related one.
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Attachments (3)

Article Prof Eng Dec18.pdf

Article written by Michael Reid, (co founder of Solar Polar. Written with food produce in mind but is just as applicable to vaccine temperature control which is where Solar Polar's first aim was conceived.

Key background Information .pdf

This document explains the broad challenges and our ability to respond to them. Vaccine is the key one obviously but the others are relevant for health and wellbeing.

'Fridgenomics'.png Whilst this video discussion is aimed at food storage it highlights issues around gender equality in countries that have low use of domestic fridges, meaning they often have to shop three times a day or spend all day getting one shop and cooking that takes up the whole day. No time left to work or seek healthcare services and as such impacts access to vaccination provision in a consistent way. Urban populations in marginalised areas need this too, and is growing.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hi Paul Collins 
As the challenge is coming to a close, please make sure you have answered all the questions in the Public and the Privately Submitted section.

A few general pointers you should check for in your final submission:
[1] How your innovation solves the challenge problem?
[2] Working of your prototype and its pilot stage?
[3] Does the solution fit in the highly mobile urban settings and how it can prove to be low cost?
[4] How the solution caters to the gender equity by having an inclusive approach?
[5] About your team and your working relation with your partners?

The submission deadline is 5pm PST on Wednesday April 10th/ 1:00am CET on Thursday April 11th.
Feel free to make the necessary changes to your application and hit the submit button before the deadline.

All the best!
OpenIDEO Community Team

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