Home
Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent
Report

Collaborative R&D for Sustainable Cooling in India

Institutional Reforms to Accelerate Technology Deployment

Himanshu Dixit and Shikha Bhasin
July 2021 | Technology, Finance & Trade

Suggested citation: Dixit, Himanshu, and Shihka Bhasin. 2021. Collaborative R&D for Sustainable Cooling in India: Institutional Reforms to Accelerate Technology Deployment. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water.

Overview

This report highlights the need to tap into the expertise available across research institutions, universities, government agencies and industry to create a thriving ecosystem of collaborative R&D dedicated to cooling. It examines some of the key public–private R&D collaborations that have led to successful outcomes and determines the underlying factors of success. It analyses these factors in the form of the best practices that collaborative innovative programmes follow across areas such as policy vision, financing, intellectual property negotiations, intensity of collaboration and deployment strategies in order to increase chances of success and operational efficiency. Further, the study lays out a summary of these best practices and recommendations to operationalise them.

Also read: Cooling India with Less Warming

Key Highlights

  • The technology profile of the cooling sector necessitates changes as the current technology in use is environmentally unsustainable, and their applications are limited.
  • The only way forward for India to ensure sustainable refrigeration and air conditioning is to make investments in R&D for the development, diffusion and deployment of new and efficient technologies.
  • Collaboration is the main thrust of India’s cooling research efforts. The analytical framework developed in the study compares case studies on key collaborative R&D initiatives in the cooling domain. The following best practices were identified as being critical to their success:
    • Setting vision and objectives offers clarity for the long term.
    • Integrated model of R&D is central to multidimensional problem solving.
    • Building trust is important to develop partnerships.
    • Smart public-private financing bestows benefits other than just financing.
    • Capacity building is important to build R&D for the future.
    • Mutually beneficial and flexible terms help in identifying the right collaborators.
    • Regular outreach ensures transparency, feedback and optimisation.
    • Innovation necessitates research, development, and deployment (RD&D) strategy.
  • Through the implementation of the best institutional practices in research programmes, the overall R&D and technology outcomes will become better. This will help India arrive at the goal of clean, sustainable and efficient cooling technologies faster and align with the larger goal of making India a net-zero carbon emitter.

Key Recommendations

  • Design institutional support such that it dovetails with the programme objectives and purposes.
  • Integrate various sectoral research and technology development activities at different stages of maturity to harness complementarities between them.
  • Expand the participation and engagement of CSOs and private entities with new and existing programmes.
  • Institutionalise an intermediary panel to facilitate better interface, closer cooperation and alignment among different partners in collaborative initiatives.
  • Support the new R&D initiatives through an elaborate institutional structure, with functions defined to reflect the most important aspects of the programme.

Proposed institutional structure to support public–private collaborative cooling R&D

Proposed institutional structure to support public–private collaborative cooling R&D

Source: Authors analysis

India should make investments in R&D for the development, diffusion and deployment of new and efficient technologies to increase access to sustainable cooling for all.

Sign up for the latest on our pioneering research

Explore Related Publications