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The Global Cooling Summit Is Giving $3 Million To Whoever Designs A Better Air Conditioner

As climate change and heatwaves prevail in the MENA region, The Global Cooling Prize invites worldwide innovators to develop climate-friendly cooling solutions.

The Earth is becoming hotter and hotter with each passing year. Recent studies have reported that surface temperatures are likely to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius in the upcoming 12 years. Global warming puts 75 percent of the world’s entire population at risk of potentially deadly heat exposure, as many nations face droughts and water shortage crisis in North Africa. Moreover, according to Statista, the demand for air conditioners in the Middle East was as high as 5.3 million in 2016.

Acknowledging the urgent need for sustainable water cooling without warming the planet, The Global Cooling Prize calls for the development of residential cooling solution that has at least five times less climate impact than standard Room Air Conditioning (RAC) units. Several market factors have contributed to the slow pace of innovation in the air-conditioning (AC) industry, with the key factor being consumer’s focus on low first cost as opposed to life-cycle cost.

“The innovation challenge aims at developing sustainable and efficient technology to provide thermal comfort to all," explains Union Minister Harsh Vardhan at the Global Cooling Innovation Summit. "We want global innovators to rise to this challenge and develop a super-efficient technology which provides access to affordable cooling to people around the world. We must work to mitigate the risks of global warming due to the massive deployment of ACs in the near future," the minister said.

Up to 10 short-listed competing technologies will be awarded up to $200,000 each in preliminary prizes to support the design and prototype development of their innovative residential cooling technology designs over the next two years. The winning technology will be awarded at least $1 million to support incubation and early-stage commercialisation, starting in India, then aiming for worldwide expansion. The criteria for prizing will be focused on climate impact in terms of refrigeration, power and water consumption, low energy emission rates to decrease toxicity, and decrease carbon footprint per household.

The event’s members of the operating council along with prize partners will overlook the prototyping and testing, while hosting workshops, seminars and mentoring sessions. Lastly, participants will present their technology, proposed business models in an international awarding ceremony held in India to assist the finalists in their investment and market integration of their invention.

The prize is supported by the government's 'Mission Innovation' initiative and will be administered by an association of leading research institutes — the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Conservation X Labs, the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) and the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University.

The application deadline is August 2019, as testing and evaluation of prototypes will commence in mid-2020.

If you are an emerging startup in the environmental industry, you can click here to apply.

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