What is ACES?

Working with governments, industry, academia, communities and wider stakeholders, ACES will be a comprehensive, one-stop hub for state-of-the-art technical assistance and knowledge transfer along the ‘farm-to-fork’ continuum. 

ACES brings together multi-disciplinary expertise and commercial partners to work together to design transformative solutions. The core structure of ACES is one Centre of Excellence (the Rubirizi campus) where we undertake collaborative research, test new equipment, develop knowledge and deliver learning and train the trainer programmes as well as awareness raising. ACES is complemented with Specialized Outreach and Knowledge Establishments (SPOKEs) where we will demonstrate solutions and cascade knowledge to local markets in order to accelerate deployment of sustainable smart cold-chain incl. Community Cooling Hubs (CCH).  The first of these is being developed in Kenya.

– Develop, test, demonstrate and deploy fit-for-market pathways to net zero smart cold-chain and cooling at scale in Africa.

– Improve knowledge on postharvest behaviour of food to optimise systems and maintain nutritional and physiological quality.

-Provide technical business assistance and training to small-holder farmers and rural communities.

-Build the skilled engineering workforce for installation and maintenance.

-Conduct research on future-proof, localised solutions for food loss reduction.

-Exchange lessons learned via a hub-and-spoke model.

-Build public awareness on the benefits of using sustainable cooling.

Lack of effective cold-chain results in the loss of 526 million tons of food produced (12% of the global total) with direct impact on food security, nutrition and rural poverty, environment and waste of natural resources. 4% of global GHG emissions are caused by cold chains/lost food. These emissions are set to rise significantly. The Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain (ACES) is a unique aggregation of applied research and demonstration, learning and teaching, industrial collaboration, awareness raising and outreach to address a wicked problem:  how to provide access to cold-chains to small and marginal farmers in an efficient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner that builds resilience and achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).