Gwynedd: Billionaire Microsoft boss Bill Gates funds $1.4m grant for firm’s vaccine cooler
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Billionaire Microsoft boss Bill Gates has backed a Gwynedd firm to use its ground-breaking technology to develop a life-saving vaccine cooler.
Innovative Tywyn refrigeration technology firm The Sure Chill Company, backed by Welsh entrepreneur Peter Saunders, has received $1.4m in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part its fight to eliminate preventable diseases worldwide.
The grant will enable the firm to move from proof-of-concept to field trials within the next year for the cooler, which will be able to operate for over 35 days without power.
“The funds will allow us to integrate the revolutionary Sure Chill technology into a vaccine cooler, which will mean more lives can be saved in remote locations,” explains Keith Bartlett, The Sure Chill Company’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Conventional refrigeration technologies can put vaccines at risk of either freezing or getting too warm. This reduces potency and means that immunisation programmes are not as effective as they could be.
“The Sure Chill Company’s technology ensures that vaccines reach children in optimum condition.
“This robust, pragmatic and user-friendly cooling solution has the potential to save the lives of countless children across the world.
“The new vaccine coolers will be smaller than our existing vaccine refrigerators, making them ideal for small facilities in remote places.”
Ian Tansley, Chief Technical Officer and inventor, added: “The devices will allow vaccines to be stored safely in challenging environments with no power and ambient temperatures as high as 43°C.”