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H2020

SPECTRA280 Report Summary

Project ID: 711692

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SPECTRA280 (A cloud-based food analytics platform for the rapid detection of adulterant matter and quality assessment of milk, fruit juice and olive oil)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

JEKO Disain OÜ (www.jekodisain.ee) was founded in 2005 developing spectrometry sensors using special deep UV LEDs. Today our team consists of nine professionals with expertise in business, mechanical, optical, electronics and software engineering. Our sales are in Estonia, Finland, USA and Germany. We own an absorbance and fluorescence sensor that is the best in its class and which we sell in the medical market. To reduce the risk and grow our business we intend to diversify into other vertical markets. The Dairy, Fruit Juice and Olive Oil within the food industry are three vertical markets where we can commercialise our product.
SPECTRA-280™, is a novel cloud-based food analytics platform for the rapid detection of adulterant matter and quality assessment of milk, fruit juice and olive oil. We see a huge business opportunity through sales. The uniqueness of SPECTRA-280™ will increase our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and increase our revenues from new markets, which is dominated by multi-national competitors. With SPECTRA-280™, we intend to diversify into new markets in the Food Industry, consequently increasing our revenues, profitability and growth.

JEKO carried out a Feasibility Study through H2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 funding. In the study we have analysed and iterated the product through constructive customer development, analysed the local and global market and industry trends, assessed competitive landscape, determined how we can protect our Intellectual Property Rights, assessed business and technological risks, identified organisational gaps, drew a financial plan and a work plan. The outcome is that SPECTRA-280™ is possible, feasible, viable, profitable, sustainable and key for our business growth and competitive edge. JEKO will continue pursuing this project.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

1. In-depth Market Assessment - We identified the market size and forecast, likely penetration rates, examined competitors, identified external opportunities and threats through an extensive SWOT and PEST analysis and identified effective pricing and promotion strategies. We will also identified key partners in the commercialisation strategy. Market research involved both primary (direct meetings with clients) and secondary (literature) market research.

2. Dissemination Material – We created non-confidential technical datasheets to start commercial discussions with key partners and specific confidential technical datasheets for specific partners that show a high interest (under a confidentiality agreement). The result is that we already have great interest from customers and representatives that are willing to take up the technology.

3. Legal Feasibility – We researched legislations and standards in the food industries. From this research we identified what certifications JEKO should own to operate in this business. Furthermore, food legislations told us what to test for and the permissible concentrations of substances in food.

4. Technological and Operational Feasibility – We carried out an in-depth Cost-Benefit Analysis to measure the costs, benefits and risks of this product. Determined the viability of cloud based services, instead of using private servers. We obtained very good results from the technological feasibility study on the prototype and we are very confident to continue this endeavour. Through customer development we identified 3 product variants that offer benefits to target customers. During operational feasibility we examined internal issues to identify gaps in the management team and human resources.

5. Economic Feasibility – Based on the market analysis we estimated the revenue and profitability. The result was represented in our cash flow forecast in the Business Plan. We stress tested the the cash flow forecast to simulate different economic scenarios (lower sales, lower prices etc) to determine the project’s viability and sustainability. The project is viable and feasible and we believe it will generate more profits.

6. Risk Assessment – We compiled a risk assessment chart including the risk, likelihood, impact and contingency plans from the technological and business perspective.

7. Select Users for Pilot Testing (Months 2 to 4) – We found key users in each food sector (milk, fruit juice and olive oil) in order to carry out demonstration during Phase 2. We already have an expression of interest from a three companies.

8. IPR issues – Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues were conducted in terms of trademark and “Freedom to operate”. The result is that JEKO is free to operate in the EU and USA. Other territories will be evaluated at a later stage after product launch.

9. Work Plan – A detailed Work Plan for the Phase 2 project was created clearly defining the tasks and assigning resources and timings in a comprehensive manner.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state-of-the-art

SPECTRA-280™ is the first UV spectrometer that is affordable (at least ten times cheaper than competition) while being very accurate, and easy-to-use since data interpretation is done in the Cloud. Due to these advancements, the powerful tool of spectrometry, can be accessed by small food organisations (producers, processing plants, food distribution, etc) that have tight budgets and/or do not have the skills required to operate a conventional spectrometer. SPECTRA-280™ disrupts these markets, unveiling a lucrative untapped business opportunity.

Expected impacts

The purpose of SPECTRA-280™ is to detect adulteration in foods and/or inferior quality foods. Numerous reports of food scams were revealed recently in the EU. Overall, adulteration and quality are main issues for food industries who need to ensure that they obey existing legislations while authorities need to implement sound inspection methods. Adulteration presents a threat to health and food safety. It is evident that when food is contaminated with foreign bodies or has low quality, everyone loses, including the consumer, the retailer, and the producer. Therefore, it is important for the food industry to quickly detect anomalies in the food process and take action to reduce waste and energy while ensuring quality, improving the efficient use of raw materials and protecting the consumer. We have identified a common need for rapid, affordable, portable and user-friendly sensing techniques to improve food safety, food quality and competitiveness. We believe we have the solution and stakeholders we interviewed expressed clear intentions to purchase.

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