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ATOMIX Report Summary

Project ID: 735711

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ATOMIX (Boosting the efficiency of current agricultural atomisers by using ultrasonics emitters)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Pesticide application is a necessary tool in order to guarantee food production and to decrease its costs. Unfortunately current pesticide atomizers are characterized by a very low efficiency in terms of energy use and on pesticide coverage, resulting expensive options and creating a big concern for the environment and human health. ATOMIX will be an outstanding atomizer for orchards pesticide application able to: 1) break down the energy request, 2) reducing the application time, 3) reduce the environmental impact throughout: a) improvement of drop on target efficiency; b) reduction of pesticide drift and water transportation; c) reduction of CO2 emissions. These exceptional results will be achieved by the application and optimisation of existing technologies that have never been applied into this field: an innovative fan design and an enhanced nozzle jointed with and advanced targeting system. Thanks to its features ATOMIX will contribute to meet Europe 2020 energetic and environmental objectives and to comply with pesticide and water framework directive.

In the last four months we have worked to check the technical and commercial feasibility of ATOMIX projects, and, strong of the results achieved during this study, we have made up our mind with the decision to apply for Phase 2 proposal. Indeed the FS has confirmed the uniqueness of our solution, the technical feasibility of the project and the commercial profitability even in the worst scenario. We have great expectations for ATOMIX as, since the first steps of the FS, has aroused great enthusiasm in our clients, which expressed their interest on participating in the project development throughout their participation at field tests.

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

During the last 4 months we have developed a Feasibility study, articulated into 3 tasks (technical feasibility, Commercial plan and financial feasibility). Below is reported a summary of the job done.
Task 1: Technical feasibility
During the technical feasibility CFD simulations over different fan size and shapes have been executed to identify the features of the ATOMIX prototype fan group. A fan design has been chosen to carry out ATOMIX project and the project objectives have been established. Furthermore a deep analysis of the advanced ultrasonic and polarising nozzle has been performed, selecting the technological reference and fixing the objectives for this component. The industrial production cost of ATOMIX and the potential suppliers have been individuated to verify the financial feasibility and its market potential. Finally a technical plan to increase the TRL up to 9 has been elaborated, including a comprehensive risk analysis and a mitigation and contingency plan.
Task 2: Commercial plan
The commercial plan includes 3 different subtasks: a) market analysis, b) definition of a commercialization strategy and c) definition of an IPR strategy to protect and exploit the findings of ATOMIX project.
Subtask 1: Market analysis. During this task an analysis of ATOMIX market has been done: we have considered all the possible drivers and restraints on ATOMIX commercialisation, including an analysis of the technologies used among our main competitors and the opportunity raised by EU regulation regarding pesticide management. Furthermore we made an analysis of market dimensions, considering all the possible market barriers. To show to farmers the great benefits of our technology -that will drive its disruption into the market-, we have realized a cost/benefits table indicating cost, savings and payback time of ATOMIX related with axial and radial fan technologies. This table has shown the outstanding performances of ATOMIX, providing us with a key argument for the commercialization of ATOMIX.
Subtask 2: Commercialisation strategy. The definition of the commercialisation strategy has been a fundamental activity during Phase 1 execution. During this subtask we have identified the main stakeholders involved into the project defining which tasks will be directly carried out by FIENI and which ones by our linked third parties. Furthermore, we have dedicated time and resources with exciting results on the research of customers interested on testing ATOMIX prototypes. We made a commercialisation plan including “on” and “post project” communication and dissemination activities in order to spread awareness of ATOMIX technology among our clients and end users.
Subtask 3: IPR strategy. During this subtask we made an FTO analysis to guarantee that we will not infringe any related patent. This research opened the opportunity to check the current State Of the Art on fan group for atomizers and on ultrasonic nozzles: the outcome was the confirmation that ATOMIX is an unique technology, a lot ahead than our competitors. This finding persuaded us to define a protection strategy concerning the protection of both the fan group design and our enhanced ultrasonic and polarising nozzles.
Task 3: Financial feasibility study
During this task we have demonstrated the capability of FIENI to successfully carry out ATOMIX project. The coverage of 30% of the project is guaranteed by the profit generated by current sales of FIENI fan groups. We have done several projections for ATOMIX sales (3 scenarios evaluated: a pessimist, a conservative and one optimistic) based on our current sales results, our sales network and the business strategy planned for ATOMIX launch. The forecasts showed excellent trading results even in the worst case.

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)

ATOMIX is an innovative product that will combine different existing technologies throughout an optimization process for specific application on orchards, resulting in a completely new and unique pesticide atomizer. It will permit to greatly reduce the energy required to spray pesticide on orchards and to reduce the amount of used chemicals thanks to an improved drop on target efficiency. Consequently it will provide great benefits for the environment and human health. As ATOMIX will permit to decrease the amount of energy and pesticide required to treat crops, it will result in a great savings for farmers that will be able to increase their profit or to reduce their selling price. This improved harvest profitability will guarantee ATOMIX success on market. Following the EU policy ATOMIX will contribute to reach EU 2020 objectives in terms of pesticide reduction, energy saving and GHG reduction, contributing for a better environment and to a greener economy.

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