Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

Home of Cool Report Summary

Project ID: 719487

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Home of Cool (A novel environment-friendly limited space cooler for high volume food and beverage vending industries.)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Nordic 24/7 Services Oy (www.nordic247.com), was founded in 2010 by our CEO Veli Eloranta. Veli has over 15 years experience in the Point Of Sales International Business and vending industry at management level. He worked in close relationship with biggest brand owners in the drink and food industry in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. According to our CEO Veli, the refrigeration industry is the most boring industry because no radical innovations occur. The technology is the same old concept, based on a compressor that compresses a liquid refrigerant. There were only incremental innovations in the liquid refrigerant to reduce the emission of Green House Gases, an initiative driven by new directives and laws. However, refrigerators/coolers are still the cause of millions of metric tons of waste every year due to the high rate of compressors breaking down and dumped in landfills.

The global commercial refrigeration equipment market was valued at $30Bn in 2014 and it is expected to reach $40Bn by 2020, with market forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.7%. The beverages refrigeration equipment is expected to witness the fastest growth (7.2% CAGR), due to the pull marketing strategies of large beverage companies favouring the promotion of their in-store brand presence through branded visi coolers. The market growth is driven by the growth of supermarket, hypermarket, restaurants, hotels and organised food retail chains. The competitive landscape is a Red Ocean – all organisations are offering the same boring features with very little differences in the type of refrigerant and quality of the materials used. Nevertheless, the industry players are not answering the real requests of the customers. Moreover, the coolers are not environment friendly!

Home of Cool™ is a unique environment friendly electronic cooler that uses a novel technology that completely replaces the compressor and refrigerant fluid. Our cooler has a lifetime that is at least five times larger than that of the compressor. Therefore, the greatest benefit of our cooler is that it is service free. Our coolers are 95% recyclable at End of Life. Moreover, our refrigerator elements take less than 8% of the total volume of the cooler (compressor is 30%). Hence, another benefit is that our coolers take 60% less space and are 70% lighter than the smallest compressor coolers available in the market. Other important benefits of our cooler are that it is vibration free and it is free from any chemical regulation since we have removed the fluid refrigerant. Furthermore, our coolers do not contain any flammable gases, hence certifications are by far lower than conventional coolers. All these benefits lead to huge cost savings in manufacturing and maintenance. Bottom line: our solution is green and gives our customers great benefits for a lower price!

Nordic 24/7 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 Home of Cool™ is possible, feasible, viable, profitable, sustainable and key for our business growth and competitive edge. Nordic 24/7 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

Work performed during Feasibility Study:

1. Technological and operational feasibility

The technological scope was specified. Starting from the TRL6 prototype the technological gaps (technology refinement) needed to bring the cooler product into the market (commercialisation). This was translated into the Work Plan for the Product Development Stage of this project. A cost/benefit analysis was carried out to compare demands of end-users in terms of price, performance, robustness, services and additional features. From this analysis we were able to set the target prices of our products, such that they facilitate the adoption of our products and generate sustainable growth to our business.

In operational feasibility, we examined internal issues to identify gaps in the management team and human resources. We determined what talent/expertise is viable and sustainable to hire and what is viable to subcontract, based on several criteria, mostly dominated by profitability, training, cash flow, availability of talent and sustainability.

2. Market assessment

We have researched the refrigerator industry, its growth, drivers of growth, technology and business trends, problems and key players (competitors). From this research we determined the closest competitors, our Unique Selling Proposition and Competitive Advantage.

We conducted primary and secondary market research on visi/vending coolers, beverage and food industry (specifically soda and beer cans industries and chocolate industry) and deduced our market share. Primary market research led to the root cause of the problems experienced by the market as regards the traditional coolers. We also analysed the change of values of our customers and buying behaviours, which were useful to create the marketing and commercialisation plan and product positioning.

We identified internal strengths and weakness and external opportunities and threats through an extensive SWOT and PEST analysis.

3. Legal feasibility

Together with our IP lawyer, we carried out a Freedom to Operate, which resulted that our technology is truly novel and can be patented. We intend to patent the technology in the second stage of the project (Product Development and Commercialisation). We also want to apply for a design patent.

We registered our trade marks.

We determined which proprietary knowledge should be safe guarded as a trade secret and how this can be legally protected with contracts and data security measurements.

An intensive review of regulations that controls the manufacturing, transport, use and disposal of coolers resulted that since our cooler does not use the toxic liquid refrigerants and it is 95% recyclable then the laws do not apply for us. This creates a crucial Unique Selling Point that boosts our competitive advantage. Since our cooler contains electronic parts then it should have the standard CE marking. Moreover, we plan to apply for eco-label certifications to further improve our USP.

4. Partners agreement

Together with our lawyer and business advisers we have implemented a contract agreement for us to use with partners and customers.

We have chosen our suppliers to fill our technology gaps and to perform large-scale manufacturing.

5. Risk assessment

Together with our legal and business advisers we have evaluated our business risks, determined their impact on the business and built mitigation plans to minimise the risk. Similarly we evaluated the risks for the second stage of the project and mitigated the tisks.

6. Work plan for phase 2

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

7. Business plan

Based on the above tasks, the elaborated Business Plan was improved from latest Business Plan, and was used as a basis for Phase 2 proposal application.

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 state of the art

Home of Cool™ is a unique environment friendly electronic cooler that uses a novel technology that completely replaces the compressor and refrigerant fluid. Our cooler has a lifetime that is at least five times larger than that of the compressor. Therefore, the greatest benefit of our cooler is that it is service free. Our coolers are 95% recyclable at End of Life. Moreover, our refrigerator elements take less than 8% of the total volume of the cooler (compressor is 30%). Hence, another benefit is that our coolers take 60% less space and are 70% lighter than the smallest compressor coolers available in the market. Other important benefits of our cooler are that it is vibration free and it is free from any chemical regulation since we have removed the fluid refrigerant. Furthermore, our coolers do not contain any flammable gases, hence certifications are by far lower than conventional coolers. All these benefits lead to huge cost savings in manufacturing and maintenance. Bottom line: our solution is green and gives our customers great benefits for a lower price!

Impact on the beverage and food industry
Our cooler has a positive impact on these industries that use branded coolers to promote their brand in retail stores. Home of Cool™ is space-saving, ecological (green), maintenance free, traceable and smart.

Impact on the environment

Our cooler is maintenance free, meaning that it does not generate annual waste in land fills due to repairs and disposal. Moreover, our cooler has a longer life-time, meaning that the cooler takes longer to get disposed of. In addition, when End of Life takes place 95% of its components can be recycled. Furthermore, our cooler is green because it does not use liquid refrigerants that are toxic or harmful to the environment such as HFCs and carbon dioxide.

Impact on society

Less waste means sustainable and greener living

Increase in employment. We need to expand to 80 employees by the third year.

Related information

Record Number: 190257 / Last updated on: 2016-11-14