Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

LOOWATT Report Summary

Project ID: 728177

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LOOWATT (European Expansion for Circular Economy Off-Grid Toilets)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The EU waste management industry is desperate for innovation amid competitive pressure to control operating and capital costs. There has been increasing scrutiny over toxic carcinogenic chemicals, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, currently used in portable toilets. Formaldehyde is banned for use in the EU while gluderaldehyde is soon to be banned, due to these chemicals being proven to harm human health. The portable toilet hire market in the UK alone is worth £800 million annually, and in the EU is worth over £3bn annually. This market is still today served over 95% by chemical toilets.

In the global underserved market, improper disposal of human waste is one of most serious health problems. WHO estimates global economic return on sanitation spending is US$5.50 for every $1 invested, which is higher than the return on spending for health ($2.40/$1). In the EU, the recent refugee crisis has led to over €150 million increases in annual spending on portable toilets, while technologies in use need improvement (Adco, 2016). Over the past six months we have refined our expansion plan to ensure widespread impact on these global markets as we grow our business. Research has been conducted in various countries including an in-depth reconnaissance looking at portable toilet companies currently serving migrants in Greece.

Loowatt technology is ideally placed to take advantage of market drivers currently faced in Europe and globally.

Our current addressable market is over €30bn globally, divided into the following sectors:
• EU/ developed countries. Customers will include toilet service operators and event organisers who need to respond to challenges (tightening environmental standards, end-users’ increasing “green” expectations, and competitive landscape) as well as opportunities (commercialisation of sludge treatment introduced by new sludge regulations).

• Global underserved. Customers will consist of urban utility providers, NGOs and international commissioners who see lack of adequate toilet technology that sustainably (1) provides physical barrier between people and human waste and (2) generates value.

By 2022 Loowatt will be serving over 1M people in global underserved markets, and over 5M annually in the EU.

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

On the back of initial market entry in Europe and revenue / cost model testing in 2016, Loowatt has completed a Business Plan including:

(1) Full market evidence package for growth in UK, EU and global markets. Our systems are already in demand in EU markets. Germany and France have been identified as important next countries to explore market entry. We have shortlisted potential partners and are looking to build partnerships in these regions by Q1 2017.

(2) Manufacturing partners identified for supply chain creation. The entire Loowatt supply chain has now been created and tested for our waste to value system. We have numerous suppliers in both the UK and EU. Countries include Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

(3) Risk assessment, 5-year projections and long term growth strategy are fully articulated in our Business Plan, which is now being reviewed by investors as we look to secure funding tranches that will support expansion beginning in 2017. Commercial entry of serviced toilets is anticipated for EU markets in 2018.

(4) Revenue model for EU/ developed countries:
• Sales of toilets – selling ‘Pods’ and ‘Trailers’;
• Sales of parts – selling toilets or internals;
• Sales of consumables (biopolymer film refill). Each consumable unit will also need to be processed through Loowatt’s WTV technology for a service fee.
• International management fees – specifying, designing and validating implementations of Loowatt’s technologies with toilet service operators in overseas territories. Revenues consist of upfront and ongoing management fees.

(5) Revenue model for global underserved urban markets:
• Closed Loop System package model – Loowatt delivers toilets and supporting technology to provide waste-to-value utility partnership programmes.

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)

Introducing a new toilet to market is no easy feat due to the need to cover the entire value chain—product sales but also waste treatment. Loowatt has developed a comprehensive strategy for proving the technology and market demand, and moving rapidly from servicing into sales. This is comprehensively articulated in our Business Plan, the full version if which can be shared with interested parties in confidence.
Sales and Marketing Strategy
Loowatt’s showcase of a profitable toilet servicing operation at the UK’s best outdoor events in Summer 2016 was proven to be highly effective in engaging end-users, event organisers and toilet service operators. It received tremendous appreciation from paying customers towards the brand and technology. Demand is growing in the EU—Loowatt technology has been requested by portable toilet hire companies in continental Europe, and presented at high-profile industry showcases such as the Amsterdam Dance Event. Loowatt will continue operating a toilet service to generate demand, and is establishing a sales pipeline among toilet servicers in the UK and EU. Structured sales contracts will be used to commission the toilet embodiments required for toilet servicer customers, as well as set expectations consumable purchases.
Sustainable Competitive Advantage
• Technology. Competitors are limited in addressing completely all the client’s requirements and market drivers.
• Robust IP. Patented odourless toilet and biodegradable polymer film refill. Rich know-how on the design, requirements, integration, and operation of the different components of Loowatt system.
• Value chain ecosystem. Loowatt has focused on working with suppliers and strategic manufacturing partners to ensure secure biopolymer film supply and most cost-effective components for its toilets. The complexity of this ecosystem presents a barrier for new entrants and creates a captive market for Loowatt.
Environmental Impact

We have estimated the following key metrics on environmental impact, based on system performance in 2016 and growth targets through to 2020:

During Summer 2016: 34 toilets, 6 weekends
30,000 L Water savings over vacuum flush @ 0.5L/flush
22 T Elimination of chemical dosed sludge
1,741 kWh Total energy, elec+heat
535 kg CO2 saving from renewable energy production

Projected 2018: 117 toilets, 78 use days avg
703,000 L Water savings over vacuum flush @ 0.5L/flush
519 T Elimination of chemical dosed sludge
40.3 mWh Total energy, elec+heat
12 Tonnes CO2 saving from renewable energy production

Projected 2020: 1,477 toilets, 123 use days
10.2m L Water savings over vacuum flush @ 0.5L/flush
7,568 T Elimination of chemical dosed sludge
587 mWh Total energy, elec+heat
181 Tonnes CO2 saving from renewable energy production

Related information

Record Number: 195214 / Last updated on: 2017-02-23
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