Through various work packages, TRANSSITioN will use a food systems approach to identify relevant STFC and indigenous technologies – for digitising agriculture production, connecting farmers to supply chain, reducing food loss and managing food surplus – as well as business and funding models supporting such technological interventions and the ways in which different actors across the cold food chain could be engaged to directly and indirectly to shape development outcomes.
The multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder and global approach proposed in this project would aim identify challenges related to fragmented supply chain, scope of cold chain facilities, critical interventions, and business models to maximise value for each stakeholder in the food agri-food value chain.
TRANSSITioN Work Programme
WP1 – Conceptual Framework, Leverage Points and Innovative Partnership Development
Led by UoS and building on a pilot project, map cold food chain activities from rural farms to urban marketplaces, co-identify key leverage points for transformation and co-define data, technologies, partnership needs and reference cases for addressing the leverage points. Supported by IITM, it will also develop metrics and tools for measuring socio-economic and environmental impact of the proposed technological interventions, which will include a focus on improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and marginalised communities.
It will use food systems concepts and methods to understand the dynamics, key obstacles, risks and opportunities for cold food chain transformation in India.
WP2 – Transition Pathways Towards Sustainable Cold Food Chain
WP2 will co-develop and test proposed STFC and indigenous technological interventions from farm to consumption centre through integrated cold chain incubator hub. It will also co- identify innovative business models and policies for adoption of proposed technological interventions. WP2 is structured in three parts (2a-2c). Each part will draw on WP1-led outputs (reference case – state-of-the-art) to determine how respective aspects of India cold food chain might be transformed to better meet social, economic and environmental priorities – and to do so in ways that maximise the interests of poor, vulnerable or otherwise marginalised communities.
It focuses on three main leverage points or transition pathways:
WP2a: Digital infrastructure support needed for informed decision-making by small-scale farmers so that they can be climate-resilient, get connected to the market and avoid producing food in surplus
WP2b: Innovative, low cost, effective and sustainable technological solutions needed to increase shelf-life of fresh produce, minimise their losses from ambient temperature of 40-48oC at different stages of the supply chain as well as provide value creation/addition opportunities
WP2c: New business, funding models, policies and partnerships needed to facilitate the adoption of such technological interventions.
WP2a – Digitising Agriculture and Connecting Farmers
Led by STFC Hartree Centre and IBM Research, this will utilise capabilities of STFC data sciences and IBM in big data analytics to produce decision support tools for farmers. It will mainly address these questions below:
How best can Big Data related to geospatial, soil data, local weather data, etc. be integrated with different data generated from IoT sensors (developed in- country and by STFC), STFC Drones, Infrared thermography and AI be incorporated for producing a real-time monitoring decision support tool for small-scale farmers for improving crop productivity and sustainability?
How can the above data and technologies be integrated with market data to connect farmers with the supply chains?
What system and architecture are needed to develop and deploy such tools as a service?
What training programme is needed for farmers’ organizations or associations (Co-op) to facilitate the change towards climate resilient digital sustainable precision farming?
WP2b – Reducing Losses and Maximising Value in Cold Food Chain
Led by STFC RAL Space, this will utilise expertise in thermal modelling and insulation used in satellites by RAL Space to see how to effectively integrate existing low tech (e.g. indigenous low cost technologies e.g. passive solar coolers) and advanced technologies (e.g. STFC space technologies such as cryogenics, thermal modelling, modified atmosphere packaging) for increasing shelf-life and value of the fresh produce. It will also aim to explore what type of new materials and intelligent systems could be utilised for prototype development that facilitates thermal insulation on farm, during transportation and storage houses and their contactless monitoring to reduce fresh produce losses due to high ambient temperature. In addition, it will also utilise the expertise of STFC ASTeC in Cryogenics in collaboration with Linde Gas and local rural communities for co-designing lab-demonstration experiments for clean cooling and for establishing “Cryo-Kitchen incubator hub.”
WP2c – New Business Models and Policies for Rural Renaissance
Led by BIMTECH, this will utilise community-based participatory assessments and planning, critical policy analysis, and stakeholder discussions for co-designing new public-private partnership business and funding models. This will aim to assure interdisciplinarity and synchronisation of the research in the case study locations for testing, evaluating and demonstrating impact-led technological interventions from farm to consumption centre through cold chain incubator hub, rather than as different isolated facilities.
WP3 – Socio-Technical Innovation, Capacity Building and Impact
This will deliver the project’s relational approach to the generating impact, combining social and technical innovation with cutting-edge research to co-produce novel solutions to the intractable challenges for all beneficiaries. WP3 will manage Impact Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL). With the help of Impact metrics and tool developed in WP1, this will also measure socio-economic and environmental impact generated through the project and will evaluate a range of adoption models for the proposed technological interventions.
WP4: Programme Leadership and Management
Led by RAL Space and supported by SUMS, this WP will be mainly concerned with programme management and coordination activities, including both economic, technical and logistical aspects. The core aim of the leadership and management activities will be to deliver all the objectives listed above. This is will be mainly carried out by the Programme Manager in consultations with the Programme Director and Co-program Director.