GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are joining forces to develop vaccines that stand up better in the heat, making them easier to deploy in developing world.

Most vaccines must be kept cold and are transported under refrigeration. This cold supply chain is easily achievable in industrial economies but poses a challenge in tropical climates and remote areas.

GSK and the Gates Foundation are investing $1.8 million into research of vaccines that don’t need constant refrigeration in what they’re calling the Vaccine Discovery Partnership, or VxDP. Details of the the partnership were released earlier this week at the Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“This partnership is the starting point for research into an exciting area of biomedical technology that has the potential to overcome a significant and long-standing barrier to vaccine access in developing countries,” Emmanuel Hanon, GSK senior vice president, Vaccine Discovery and Development said in a statement.

GSK and the Gates Foundation said that despite significant progress over the last decade, more than 22 million children in developing nations remain without access to life-saving vaccines. Reducing dependence on a cold supply chain is seen as crucial for effective and affordable vaccine delivery.

According to a memorandum of understanding between the partners, the VxDP will work with multiple industry partners on various projects that will be funded by the VxDP. Those projects will range from preclinical stage work to phase Iia clinical trials. The Gates Foundation will set aside funds to support pilot projects. Partnering companies will contribute matching funds and resources along with their expertise.

A malaria vaccine candidate from GSK is the first target for the effort. The research will focus on an adjuvant that is used in the RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate, which GSK has taken through late-stage clinical development with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. GSK developed RTS,S for use in infants and children from sub-Saharan Africa, where keeping vaccines cold is a challenge. GSK said the research could also have applications for other vaccines containing the same adjuvant.

The VxDP will incorporate various stakeholders in vaccine development including pharma companies, non-governmental organizations and academia.

“Reducing the dependence on the cold chain is critical to the affordable delivery of life-saving vaccines to the children who need them most,” Trevor Mundel, president of Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in a statement.

London-based GSK operates its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park.