Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

ESSENCE Report Summary

Project ID: 718123

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ESSENCE (Innovative espresso machine with new water heating and boiler design to improve efficiency and coffee quality)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

While it may sound strange considering how ubiquitous coffee drinking is around the world, current professional coffee machines are highly energy inefficient and struggle to consistently ensure the desired taste quality that people in the industry refer to as “the god shot”. Recent new designs and innovations have focused almost exclusively on improving coffee quality without rethinking the fundamental design characteristics of the machines to make them more energy efficient and user friendly.
A solution to this problem has been developed by us, two innovative Italian SMEs, Eurek Srl and 8B Srl. Founded in 1996 in Bologna, Eurek is an electronic engineering company specialized in designing and manufacturing tailored software and hardware solutions for machinery and industrial applications. Eurek’s expertise in industrial processes is complemented by 8B’s 25 years’ experience in designing, manufacturing and distributing professional espresso coffee machines in Italy and around the world.

The project, called ESSENCE, is an innovative coffee machine combining modular and energy efficient heating, auto-cleaning and intelligent control for optimum efficiency and brew quality that will benefit both machine operators and coffee drinkers.

The partners Eurek and 8B have been performing a Feasibility Study during the last four months in order to analyse the key areas of our project. Technically, based on our original prototype, we have further studied and worked on the mechanical/electronic design and the associated software (leading to a more advanced prototype), focusing on the modularity aspect and the industrialisation requirements. We have carried out additional tests, evaluating the quality of the coffee and the overall energy consumption of the machine. We have also prepared the Execution Plan for the project.
Commercially, led by 8B expertise, we have studied in detail our target markets in order to prepare our market entry strategy for ESSENCE. We have also performed a Freedom-to-Operate analysis, which is required to check and validate the innovation of our product. Lastly, we have prepared financial projections in order to evaluate the return on investment of the ESSENCE project for both partners.

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

The partners Eurek and 8B have been undertaking a Feasibility Study during the last 4 months, based on the original Work Plan proposed in the Phase 1 proposal, in order to analyze the key areas of our project.
Technically, based on our original espresso coffee machine prototype, we have further worked on optimizing the mechanical components and external design, the electronic components and boards, the control and associated software (leading to a more advanced prototype), focusing on the modularity aspect and the industrialisation requirements. We have carried out additional tests, evaluating the machine usability, the quality of the coffee and the overall energy consumption. We have also prepared the Execution Plan for the project (to move from TRL6 to TRL9), covering tasks such as planning, budget, risk analysis and organization.
Commercially, we have assessed in detail our target market, the espresso coffee machine market, with the objective of preparing a strong marketing strategy. We have also performed a Freedom-to-Operate analysis with patent search and technology watch, which is required to check and validate the innovation of our product. Lastly, we have prepared financial projections in order to evaluate the return on investment of the ESSENCE project for both partners.
Several scenarios and financial projections have been detailed and developed, leading to consolidated ESSENCE financial projections for the 2018-2022 period (revenues, break-even, commercial margin, Return on Investment).

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)

Our innovation has a two-pronged benefit to EU citizens and businesses. On the one hand, restaurants, bars and cafés will benefit from the increased electricity and cost savings brought about by our innovation. On the other hand, coffee consumers around Europe will be able to enjoy the higher-quality espresso they demand. This is crucial for the EU espresso coffee machine and its internal market, based on a consumption of approximately 4 kilos of roasted coffee per European inhabitant per year, which translates into 725 million cups of coffee per day.

ESSENCE coffee machine offers modularity for adaptation to various capacity requirements and significant electricity savings through a more efficient and optimized allocation of hot water and heat exchanger technologies which at the same time ensure a more stable water temperature throughout the brewing process that creates a consistent and premium coffee taste.

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