KTR inaugurates Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain to promote food and health security

Minister KT Rama Rao inaugurated Telangana Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain at GMR Innovex Campus near RGIA Airport in Hyderabad. The CoE is a novel initiative for promoting sustainable cooling innovation and accelerating the deployment of energy-efficient refrigeration for food and vaccine supply chains across India. 

The CoE is a joint initiative between the Government of Telangana (Telangana State Trade Promotion Corporation), Centre for Sustainable Cooling (CSC), University of Birmingham, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the GMR Group. It is the outcome of an MoU signed between Government of Telangana and University of Birmingham in 2022. University of Birmingham will serve as the knowledge partners and will help develop the centre into a state-of-the-art research and innovation hub that will help deploy needs-driven and equitable system-level cooling and cold-chain solutions in Telangana and India.

Inaugurating the facility, Minister KTR said, “The CoE is a first of its kind initiative in India. It will have state of the art equipment and will serve as a one stop solution to address all challenges around the cold chain ecosystem in the country. It will develop & demonstrate cooling technologies and solutions that meet the state’s needs and could be scaled up with global reach”. Minister thanked the University of Birmingham for choosing Hyderabad as well as industry partners including Carrier for supporting the initiative.  

The Centre of Excellence will have a solutions development lab & demonstration centre, a model pack-house and community cooling hubs. It is expected to have a significant impact on the lives of farmers in Telangana. Currently, many farmers are unable to sell their perishable produce because they do not have access to cold storage facilities. The Centre will come up with solutions that will help farmers preserve perishable produce and improved quality of goods. Adopting a ‘hub and spoke’ model, the CoE will deliver upskilling and training programmes for farmers and local agri-businesses, agri-start-ups and entrepreneurs, equipment technicians and researchers.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said “The Telangana Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling is a significant step forward in improving food and health security and boost exports. The Centre’s work will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce food losses, enhance farmers income and promote sustainable development.”

Professor Toby Peters from University of Birmingham said, “The Centre will have a strong technology and renewable energy underpinning. It will take a systems approach focusing on non-technological and behavioural issues as well, recognising that technologies need to be financeable, integrated into processes and be accepted by end users, while some solutions can be achieved through changes or adaptations to operational practices”.

Telangana currently exports 4BN USD worth Pharma and Vaccine Exports which are dependent on an efficient cold chain ecosystem. The center will also focus on new and sustainable technologies for vaccine and pharma cold chain and will contribute to the further growth of vaccine exports from the state.