Smart technology for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in developing countries supported by SRTI Park

 >> Solution is an innovative portable carrier that provides constant, cool storage and protection for vaccines  Kitty C. Liao is an applied physicist and engineer who has worked with the world’s most prestigious research institutions, including the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering.

Sharjah, UAE (15 February 2021): The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) is collaborating with an award-winning UK-based start-up company in providing last mile solution for vaccine distribution in developing countries.

Ideabatic, a leader in innovative humanitarian engineering, has developed an award-winning solution called SMILE, smart last mile vaccine cooling system that can reduce vaccine wastage by solving logistics problems, including for COVID-19 vaccines.

SMILE tackles vaccination logistics in remote areas (with and without infrastructure, i.e. developed and developing countries) along with serving some of those who cannot travel to vaccination points. 

SMILE can provide an efficient and effective means of transporting vaccines in vehicles, on foot, bicycles, donkeys or canoes. SMILE can also provide reliable storage for large-scale testing. 

Portable vaccine carrier

Whereas the problem is vaccine damage due to heat exposure in transit, the solution is a low-cost,  portable carrier that can provide constant, cool storage for vaccines.

The science and engineering behind Ideabatic's SMILE portable carrier is freeze-free, fail-safe and aims to reduce wastage to below 5 per cent.    SMILE maintains vaccines and bio-samples at a stable temperature for 3 to 6 days even when in use. This is achieved by using a bespoke SMILE icepack and patented air-locking system. 

“This means that we do not need electricity or external power when in use and SMILE keep these products cool for much longer. SMILE's all-in-one travel jacket improves vaccination efficiency and minimises vaccine breakage over tough terrains,” said Kitty C. Liao, founder & CEO - Ideabatic and Enterprise Fellow - Royal Academy of Engineering UK.

Liao noted Ideabatic is supported by the Expo Live of Expo 2020 Dubai and funded by the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom and the UK government. “SMILE has won 15 innovation awards worldwide. SMILE has been iterated, tested and field proven. Testing has been done at the UK's National Physical Laboratory,” she added.

Tested and proven

SMILE system has been tested and proven. SMILE can provide an efficient and effective means of transporting vaccines in vehicles, on foot, bicycles, donkeys or canoes. SMILE can also provide reliable storage for large-scale testing. 

Liao underlined: “Broken vaccine cold-chain in remote settings in developing countries is an urgent and on-going problem that needs a lot of work even without the pandemic. Now that we are in a pandemic economy, the shift to tackle vaccination problems must remain centre stage until either the coronavirus cannot continue to circulate, or a cure is discovered or developed.”


“We are impressed with the facilities at SRTI Park and saw the potential to develop a strong community to attract the best makers, researchers and entrepreneurs together to accelerate projects and create ventures. We strongly believe our collaboration will help make the world a better place through Ideabatic. Our involvement in building a strong community at SRTI Park will help attract and grow talent and create ventures generating social and economic benefits,” she added.

Innovative last mile solution

Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, has praised the growth of innovation and technology. He said: “Ideabatic’s last mile solution in vaccine supply chain management and transportation will have a strong humanitarian impact, especially in remote places, where vaccine distribution is a huge challenge.”

“At SRTI Park we promote innovative ideas that bring technical advancement and entrepreneurship to the highest international levels. We provide access facilities and technology needed for individual, corporate and collaborative efforts,” he added. 

“The need for global vaccination programme is urgent and we are happy to collaborate with Ideabatic in presenting a smart transport innovation with huge humanitarian impact,” Al Mahmoudi continued.

SRTI Park and Ideabatic will also collaborate on  thermal modelling, engineering analysis, prototyping, manufacturing and algorithms to predict performance for tracking and monitoring with commercial potential as the products solve logistics problems beyond vaccination systems. 

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