07 April 2021
Call For Global Innovators: TechEmerge Sustainable Cooling in the Indian Hospitality Sector

IFC’s TechEmerge is an award-winning matchmaking program that connects innovators from across the globe with private sector businesses and other clients in emerging markets to pilot cutting-edge solutions and build commercial relationships where they are needed most.

As part of its mission to tackle some of the world’s most critical development challenges, TechEmerge is partnering with Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient, affordable, climate-smart cooling technologies and business models in the growing hospitality sector. TechEmerge offers a total pool of USD500,000 in grant funding for competitively-selected pilot projects. Backed by our expert panel of industry advisors, we help innovators to successfully enter new markets, while adopters receive support to minimize adoption risks for new cooling solutions.

Why cooling and hospitality? Compared to office complexes, hospitals, homes, and other building developments, hotels have the highest average energy intensity, meaning they consume more energy per built area. In IHCL’s case, cooling represents almost 50% of its total energy use, in line with many hotels operating in warm climate countries. India’s hospitality sector is expected to grow from US$7.5 billion in 2019 to US$16.8 billion by 2025, offering significant opportunities to pilot and scale sustainable cooling solutions.


  • Brochure – Accelerating Sustainable Cooling Innovation in the Indian Hospitality Sector
  • Guide – How to Apply via the TechEmerge Portal

Early submissions

  • Given the high interest in the initiative, we would like to encourage all sustainable cooling innovators to submit their proposals as early as possible. We will kick-start the evaluation process by reviewing all early applications submitted from March 16 to April 15, 2021; the applications submitted between April 15 up until April 30, 2021 (closing date), will be reviewed as scheduled.


TechEmerge Sustainable Cooling in the Indian Hospitality Sector seeks innovative, climate-smart, cost-effective technologies and business models, including homegrown Indian solutions, that can meet IHCL’s cooling needs. These solutions should have the potential to be scaled across IHCL’s global business, and with other hospitality companies in India and the region more broadly.

Innovations should enable thermal comfort in built environments without compromising the functionality of public areas, guest rooms, banquet halls, kitchens, laundries, and other spaces, including but not limited to:

  • IoT-Enabled & AI/BI Augmented Systems leading to overall efficiency
  • Plant Room High Side Equipment Optimization
  • HVAC Low Side System Optimization and Indoor Environmental Quality solutions
  • Passive Cooling Solutions

Read more details on the type of solutions and relevant technologies aligned with IHCL needs.

Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) plays a leading role in India’s hospitality sector and has a global footprint that includes the high-profile Taj brand. IHCL is South Asia’s largest hospitality company by market capitalization and has a portfolio of 196 hotels across four continents and twelve countries. It is now building on its strong history of supporting sustainability, by partnering with TechEmerge to pilot and scale energy-efficient, climate-smart cooling innovations across its business. Selected TechEmerge innovators will pilot their innovations at five of IHCL’s hotels, with the potential for successful solutions to be replicated across all IHCL’s properties.



  • March 16, 2021 – Applications Open
  • April 30, 2021 – Applications Close
  • May 2021 – Finalists Announced
  • June 2021 – Matchmaking with IHCL
  • July 2021 – Pilots Begin


  • Access a total pool of up to USD 500,000 in grant funding to support pilot projects on the ground in India.
  • Partner with an industry-leading hospitality company committed to sustainability, with the potential for successful innovations to be replicated across all of IHCL’s 200 properties.
  • Receive guidance from TechEmerge and our global network of expert industry advisors to develop pilot implementation and market entry strategies.
  • Potential IFC investment for successful innovators with scalable solutions.


  • This call for innovation is open to entrepreneurs, startups, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Women entrepreneurs and women-led companies are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Innovators must be privately-owned companies, typically with less than 50 employees and less than US$100M in venture capital funding (with some exceptions).
  • Innovations must respond to the cooling needs and challenges of IHCL and similar hospitality brands.
  • Solutions should be clean, sustainable, resource-efficient, demonstrate strong value for money, and have the potential to scale.
  • Innovators must allocate time and resources to participate in the program’s virtual meetings and matchmaking events, and implement pilot projects on the ground, starting in India with IHCL.
  • Priority will be given to proven solutions/innovations that have been installed in at least one commercial setting, but innovations at the product development stage will also be considered.


  • Assess: We identify challenges and gaps in sustainable cooling in Asia, and work closely with potential technology adopters, such as IHCL, to ensure we understand and align with their needs.
  • Source: We launch an open call for innovators across the globe who have market-relevant solutions to apply to join the program.
  • Select: With our network of expert advisors, we select high-performing innovators with proven technologies that can meet the needs of participating adopters.
  • Match: Through a carefully curated process, we connect shortlisted innovators with leading businesses and cooling adopters to demonstrate their products/solutions, and to discuss potential pilot project partnerships.
  • Pilot: With our support, selected innovators and adopters partner to test technologies on the ground in India.
  • Commercialize: If the pilot is successful, the local adopter and innovator may decide to enter into a commercial contract and scale up the solution.


Apply now!

Application deadline: April 30, 2021

Early submissions will be reviewed starting April 15


Source: https://www.techemerge.org/country/sustainable-cooling-indian-hospitality-sector

We Will: Efficient, Climate-Friendly Cooling for All
Receive latest stories, news on efficient, climate-friendly cooling and join the movement!
Sign-up for email updates