IFC’s TechEmerge partners with logistics startup Kobo360 to pilot sustainable cooling innovations in Nigeria.

Eleven global innovators have been selected to partner with 15 leading Nigerian companies to pilot cost-effective, climate-smart technologies to strengthen the country’s temperature-controlled logistics supply chain, as part of IFC’s award-winning TechEmerge program in partnership with African digital logistics platform Kobo360.

The Sustainable Cooling Innovation program in Nigeria is funded by the UK Government’s International Climate Finance and offers a total pool of $1 million in grant funding to support field-testing over the next 12-18 months. The program also provides advisory support to help innovators mitigate financial and operational risks, reduce adoption risks for local firms, and facilitate market-entry and tech transfer.

“Kobo360’s business mission is driven by ingenuity and innovation, and we are proud to be partnering with these new TechEmerge participants to prove that temperature-controlled logistics can be affordable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly too, while growing vital sectors of the Nigerian economy and opening up new business opportunities across Africa,” said Ike Abiakam, Kobo360’s Founding Partner and Head of Value Added Services.

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The 11 innovators, which includes four Nigerian companies, were competitively selected by IFC, Kobo360, and TechEmerge’s independent advisory panel of cooling experts. The 15 local partners come from the agriculture, food and beverage, retail, refrigeration, engineering, and logistics sectors.

“Temperature-controlled logistics are vital for delivering perishable goods to markets and protecting sensitive vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. However, conventional technologies are often expensive, inefficient, and emit high amounts of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kevin Njiraini, IFC’s Regional Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria. “By supporting innovative private sector pilots, we can help pave the way for climate-smart cooling systems to be more accessible to the logistics sector in Nigeria and the region more broadly.”

The competitively selected innovators are Tunasha, Eja-Ice, Gricd, and Mandilas Group from Nigeria, Enersion from Canada, Chill Technologies from the UK, Koolboks from France, and Ecozen Solutions, Pluss Advanced Technologies, Sonnenschein Engineering & Infra, and Thermal Energy Service Solutions from India.

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The Nigerian companies partnering with the innovators are Fan Milk, L&Z Integrated Farms, Agvest, Alyx, Amo Farm, Anthorad Nigeria, Cam Dairy Foods, Food Concepts, Integrated Motors Industries, Iron Products Industries, JustFood, Kennie O Cold Chain Logistics, Tak Logistics, KSR Power & Engineering, and Lange and Grant Commodities.

“As we approach COP26, I am really glad to see these innovative solutions receiving support from the UK-funded Sustainable Cooling Innovation Program,” said Ben Llewellyn-Jones, British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Nigeria. “Finding, scaling and commercializing sustainable cooling – whether for agricultural products or vaccines – is vital to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a signatory to the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment, the UK Government is keen to support Nigeria to adopt solutions that reduce emissions and waste, provide business opportunities and lead to significant cost-savings for end users.”

If the pilots are successful, the local companies and innovators may decide to enter into commercial contracts. IFC also evaluates financing needs and may invest in companies to scale game-changing innovations.

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TechEmerge has a strong track record of matching innovators across the world with leading companies and organizations in emerging markets to pilot game-changing solutions, build commercial relationships, de-risk investment, and accelerate the adoption of innovation where it is needed most.

Its programs have helped to raise $329 million dollars in financing and investment, built commercial relationships, supported private sector growth in key sectors, and scaled disruptive solutions that are expected to benefit millions of people each year while addressing some of the world’s most pressing development challenges.

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