A challenge set
Where do the ideas with the power to change the world come from? For our chief technical officer Ian Tansley, it began with a tantalising problem. Vaccine refrigerators in off-grid situations relied on solar power, and an essential component was a rechargeable battery. Yet these batteries were costly, unreliable and hard to replace in remote locations. Could he somehow do away with that essential battery?
Ian had a postgraduate degree in product design and an incurable curiosity. He also had thirty years’ of experience in emerging technologies and years spent working on sustainable development in Africa and Asia. Experience that showed him technology pushed to the limit in the most challenging of climates — and gave him an invaluable insight into the strengths and failings of the systems we relied on.
Ian knew there had to be a better way. Then walking one day in winter past a lake in the mountains near his home, he mused that beneath the ice on the surface fish would be swimming happily. He was reminded of the physics of water that gave the unique properties that made this possible. And he had an idea.
On the side of the angels
Ian was introduced to entrepreneur Peter Saunders whose vision and success in building businesses had led to him becoming a business angel.
Peter already had a portfolio of businesses in which he invested and nurtured, and was named UK Business Angel of the Year. His achievements in both business and public service had also seen him honoured by Queen Elizabeth II and consulted by 10 Downing Street.
All this paved the way for something bigger in business. Something that would impact the world we lived in. Something like this seemingly impossible idea of Ian’s.
So Peter set about creating the conditions for success, financing the research & development, and building a team of executives with the experience and seniority to get Sure Chill to the world – changing lives today and creating a better tomorrow.
From our headquarters in Wales, UK, production started on the first of the devices.
First product sold
Our very first device was shipped to South Sudan.
The Sure Chill Company receives Gates Foundation Award
Sure Chill was the proud recipient of a $1.5 million award from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The award was to help speed the development of a passive vaccine cooler that would allow vaccination programmes to reach children living in some of the remotest places on the planet.
In 38 countries worldwide
Sure Chill now has devices in over 38 countries around the world. They are helping to keep vaccines safe in all types of locations across Africa, Asia, and Europe.