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Renewable Energy and Connectivity Hub

Project description

Solar-powered hub to charge devices off-grid

3.8 billion people worldwide have never experienced the internet. Yet 3.6 billion people live in places covered by 3G or 4G. The problem is not connectivity but lack of infrastructure, affordability and digital skills. The EU-funded REACH project has developed the StreamSpot that provides power to charge devices and a streaming platform that offers digital content and services to the unconnected. It works across South-East Asia and Africa, and in refugee camps where the lack of electricity and connectivity is a constant problem. The project has also developed a remote control platform to ensure accountability and transparency. The commercialisation plan is to deploy at least 20 000 hubs across South-East Asia and Africa by 2023.


While in the developed regions availability of electricity power has paved the way of sustainable development, it is still not available to ca. 18% of the world population, living in rural areas in developing countries and refugee camps worldwide. No access to power indicates exhausting effort for covering basic needs, which impedes sustainable social and economic development. Nearly 700 million people worldwide have mobile phone connections but no access to the electricity. In India, people belong to off-grid communities need to travel approximately 15 km to get their mobile phone charged. We have developed a unique solar power based Hub system and remote payment control mechanism by which electronic devices can be charged under the control of a central server to ensure accountability and transparency. This will enable EU companies to enter in €8 to 10 billion untouched market by delivering essential internet-based services (e.g. e-health, e-education, e-governance etc). BuffaloGrid supplies Hubs free of cost to local agents. This will stimulate local enterprise, encourage entrepreneurship and boost economic development. During SMEi Phase – 1 feasibility study, we have identified several technical improvements that are mainly focused on further development of the Hub, PCB and server designs. For commercial feasibility of the project, we have successfully performed market research, environmental impact assessment, partnership establishment, risk analysis and competitor analysis. During this project, we aim to reach from TRL7 to TRL9 and will make the product ready for mass scale deployment. We will focus on technical design improvement of the Hub for cost reduction (60%) and will finalise optimised system for mass scale production. We will also validate Hub functionality and server operations and will trial online services of EU SMEs in the field. Our commercialization plan is to deploy minimum 50,000 hubs across India, Sub-Sahara Africa and Refugee camps by 2021.

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Net EU contribution
€ 1 809 062,50
United Kingdom

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

North West (England) Merseyside Liverpool
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 584 375,00