Ideabatic’s story started in late 2014, when founder Kitty Liao participated in a humanitarian hackathon at CERN to develop a ‘$10 inflatable fridge for field operation purposes’. There, she realised that there is a big problem across the world.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), each year, 2-3 million children die of a vaccine-preventable disease and 19.5 million miss basic vaccinations. Up to 85% of the vaccines are spoiled before they reach their destination and at least $1 billion of resources are wasted every year. This is because the cold-chain in the last few miles of the delivery is broken. Last-mile journeys last up to 7 days on bikes, donkeys and canoes but current systems have freezing problems and last for only 8 hours.
As a low-temperature expert, Kitty became determined to solve this problem. Before Kitty got support and funding, she juggled being a consultant and a patent engineer in order to continue her work in realising the idea - SMILE (smart last-mile vaccine cooling system). In 2015, she pitched the design to the WHO in Geneva and they offered field-testing when she has a product ready.
In early 2016, Kitty became an unpaid Hacker-in-Residence Fellow at Imperial College Advanced Hackspace to work on SMILE full time. She set up Ideabatic inspired by the thermodynamic term ‘adiabatic’. Her vision is to help people with innovation in hardware-focused engineering and to encourage scientists and engineers to work on global problems.
In May 2016, she won £5K at the Imperial College IP competition to patent the core technologies behind SMILE. Inspired by Kitty’s vision, Ideabatic has expanded to a team of like-minded individuals from diverse background ranging from low temperature physics, design, electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, finance and medicine.
Ideabatic has won 8 innovation awards since May 2016. Ideabatic was selected to be one of the top 300 start-ups among 1600+ applications in the MassChallenge UK accelerator, which is one of the world’s largest accelerators for high impact start-ups. There, Ideabatic won the ViiV Healthcare Start-up Award with £25,000 equity-free cash prize. Recently we became the Global Innovator supported and funded by the Expo 2020 Impact Innovation Grant.
Ideabatic is also supported by an advisory board of different expertise from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University College London, Singularity University, the Federal Capital Territory Primary Healthcare Board and various NGOs.
The team is now working on finalising specifications for field testing in Africa and building a consortium with the academia, industries and NGOs to optimise SMILE and accelerate its launch.
We are welcoming talented individuals and collaborators who share the same passion to join the journey to spread SMILE across the world. We are looking for donation and grant funding for R&D and field tests in 2019.
Please do get in touch.
Together, we will reach every child however difficult the journey is.