Rolls-Royce plays it cool with vaccine storage

Written by: Andrew Wade | Published:
(Credit: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce has helped develop a new ultra cold storage pod for transporting Covid-19 vaccines to rural and remote parts of the globe.

Working with food technology company ChefsFridge, engineers at Rolls-Royce’s LibertyWorks advanced technology unit in Indianapolis created ArcticRx, a cooling system designed to maintain cold chain supply of vaccines and other vital medicines. According to Rolls, ArcticRx is lightweight, reusable, and does not require electricity to maintain its low temperatures, instead using a coolant material that can be topped up mid-journey.

“This new vaccine delivery system developed jointly by Rolls-Royce and ChefsFridge will solve the significant technological challenge of maintaining extremely low vaccine temperatures,” said Allen Barta, Rolls-Royce, Emerging Technologies and Innovation Lead.

“Vaccines need to be kept ultra cold and for long enough to transport them worldwide – and not just one, but two doses of vaccines. Rolls-Royce is proud to bring our innovation to bear on this difficult and crucial challenge and join ChefsFridge in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

ArcticRx is now being spun out as a startup from the two companies. The collaboration has led to a final design, with three models manufactured and tested, and the company is now seeking investment and manufacturing partners to scale up production and bring ArcticRx to market.

“Initially, we’re looking at immediate global challenges that need to be met,” said M. Shane Bivens, ChefsFridge co-founder.

“With the help we’re seeking from additional investors and manufacturing partners, the possibilities from this point are enormous for both solving this current pandemic, and shipping and storing other vital medical and non-medical supplies. There are so many life improving medications pharma leaves on the shelf because stable cold chain transportation for extended time periods did not previously exist to move product around the globe.”

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