SimGas Wins Prestigious Ideo Amplify Challenge With Biogas Milk Chiller Solution

Published: Jul. 12, 2016

About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

Powering Agriculture Innovator SimGas is one of five winners selected from more than 400 proposals submitted in response to the Amplify's fifth Challenge. NGOs, entrepreneurs, and social innovators were invited to design solutions that improve the livelihoods of more than half a billion small scale farmers. The challenge focused on reducing waste and spoilage, as over 42 percent of the food produced by small scale farmers is lost during harvest or during the time it takes to get product from farm to market.

SimGas, together with partners SNV, Mueller and BoP Innovation Center, submitted their biogas-powered milk chiller for Small-Scale Dairy Farmers in Eastern Africa in response to the Challenge 'How might we improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers by reducing food waste and spoilage?'.

“Our dream is that by 2025, milk spoilage by off-grid farmers is something of the past; the Biogas Milk Chiller shall be a widely accepted link in the cold chain for emerging dairy sectors worldwide” – Sanne Castro, CEO SimGas

The SimGas off-grid biogas milk chiller uses biogas generated from cow manure to allow smallholder farmers to preserve milk at standards accepted by international milk buyers. This allows smallholder dairy farmers without access to electricity to store, deliver and sell the highest possible quality of raw milk, and to increase their income.

"The Amplify Program is thrilled to announce SimGas as one of the Agricultural Innovation Challenge winners. We think that their Biogas Milk Chiller design has the potential to improve the lives of smallholder famers in Kenya and Tanzania and we're excited to welcome them into our global portfolio."- Chioma Ume, Amplify Challenge Manager at IDEO.org

To kick off their 18 months as an Amplify grantee, SimGas will join the Amplify Team in Nairobi for a human-centered design bootcamp in September. SimGas will receive a grant of between $50,000 and $150,000 to further develop their Biogas Milk Chiller design.

"We're very proud to have won this challenge. It is a unique opportunity to work with one of the largest design agencies in the world and founders of the 'human-centered design' concept, IDEO.org, to help turn our biogas milk chiller design into a ground-breaking product that has the potential to empower thousands of smallholder dairy farmers in East Africa to improve their lives and income positions!" – Dorine Poelhekke, Business Developer at SimGas

To find out more about SimGas' work and their Biogas Milk Chiller solution, please visit:

SimGas is a design and production company with facilities in the Netherlands and East Africa that focuses on clean, affordable, and high quality energy and sanitation solutions. Their teams work together to design, manufacture, and install high quality, modular, domestic biogas systems that can be installed in a day. By doing so, SimGas creates healthy and safe environments for millions of rural households, while contributing to the reduction of indoor air pollution, deforestation, and carbon emissions. Together with partners SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Mueller and BoP Innovation Center, SimGas is developing and will demonstrate off-grid, small-scale, biogas-powered milk chillers for smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Amplify is a series of ten innovation challenges bringing increased collaboration and a human-centered design approach to international aid. Up to five winners of each challenge receive a grant of between $50,000 and $150,000; an invitation to four-day, human-centered design bootcamp; and ongoing design support from IDEO.org. Amplify is a joint initiative of OpenIDEO, IDEO.org and the UK Department for International Aid (DFID). It is made possible through DFID funding. Learn more about our program here.

Related News & Events: 
May. 20, 2016

The SimGas Biogas Milk Chiller has been selected to advance to the next round in the fifth OpenIDEO Amplify challenge to improve the livelihoods of small scale farmers by reducing food waste and spoilage. To advance further, SimGas needs your feedback on their idea!

May. 12, 2016

With dung from three dairy cows, and a biogas-powered chiller from SimGas, a farmer can now extend shelf-life of their milk for more than 10 hours, extending time that milk will remain fresh while awaiting marketing.