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SophiA enables African countries to pursue sustainable pathways of development through a low-carbon, climate resilient and green growth trajectory, leapfrogging fossil fuels and high global warming potential refrigerant technologies.






SophiA will enable a growing number of African populations to access carbon-neutral energy for electricity, heating and cooling of food and medicine as well as safe and clean drinking water, thereby increasing the quality of life in a sustainable way. SophiA will develop and locally manufacture innovative, modular, flexible, affordable and efficient solar containers to provide the local population with:


  • Safe, clean drinking water and deionised water for medical purposes.
  • Hot water and steam production for hospital thermal requirements.
  • Emergency electricity supply for surgical and intensive care units.
  • Cooling of medicine to +5°C – possibly food cooling.
  • Low-temperature storage of blood plasma at -30°C.
  • Ultra-low-temperature storage of sensitive medication (e. g. some Covid-19 or Ebola vaccines) at -70°C.



Funded by: The European Commission- Horizon 2020 and European Green Deal

Duration: 4 years (October 1, 2021-September 30, 2025)

Grand agreement ID: 101036836

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SophiA’s multifunctional systems will use photovoltaic panels, solar thermal modules, water purification and natural low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in a cascade refrigeration system incorporating highly efficient thermal energy storage. The project will design, build, install and monitor demonstrators in four rural health centres located in four different climatic regions: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Uganda and Malawi, i.e. where help is most needed,  offering sustainable solutions adapted to the African context and then transferable to the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. The SophiA consortium consists of 13 project partners from Germany, Switzerland and five African countries. 


The role of the IIR as leader of the Communication and Dissemination Work Package is as follows:

  • Develop and implement the communication and dissemination strategy of the SophiA project.
  • Develop the dedicated website and communication material.
  • Organise and facilitate SophiA workshops at IIR conferences, co-sponsored conferences and other events.
  • Facilitate the publication of academic papers in the International Journal of Refrigeration (IJR) and other high impact journals.
  • Disseminate SophiA news through the IIR’s digital communication materials and social media.
  • Promote SophiA at trade exhibitions, international meetings and conferences.
  • Create and disseminate the final outcomes of the project.

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