A new product is set to roll out in India. It’s a food-storage device that uses solar panels to cool produce and preserve crops on their way to market, needed in India where 30 to 40 percent of the harvest is lost because of the lack of cold-chain facilities to store and transport food.
This sustainable fix in the form of the SolerCool container and a business plan to successfully launch the innovation is possible thanks to University of Cincinnati-industry partnerships.
According to India’s Global Cold Chain Alliance, India is second to China in a food production industry worth $180 billion, but the waste of food due to spoilage leads to a huge shortage.
That problem came to the attention of faculty and students in UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business during a virtual trade mission in July 2011. MBA students, led by Ilse Hawkins, adjunct associate business law professor in the Lindner College of Business, then followed up with a December 2011 trip to the Global Cold Chain Alliance Expo in Mumbai, India. That trip, in turn, has now evolved to a late 2012 product launch to provide a cool solution to a societal issue.