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PREcession-based drive mechanisms for high-PREcision energy-efficient POSitioning devices (Pre2Pos)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Pre2Pos (PREcession-based drive mechanisms for high-PREcision energy-efficient POSitioning devices (Pre2Pos))

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2015-08-31

With its headquarters in Turin in Italy, PhiDrive is a startup micro-enterprise, inventors of the innovative Pre2Pos piezoelectric actuators, and supported by the Italian electrical component manufacturer Comestero Sistemi (with 10% ownership of PhiDrive).

Pre2Pos is an innovative project which has the objective of designing, testing, manufacturing and introducing into the market a range of new rotary actuators: oil-free, with high precision, reduced weight, energy saving and with high torque/mass ratio (+95% when compared to existing solutions). They are designed for applications in the Space industry, such as Deployment Mechanisms, Antenna Pointing Mechanisms and Solar Array Drive Mechanisms.

In order to confirm the feasibility of our project, we at PhiDrive, have carried out a 6-month study focusing our efforts on 3 main areas: technically, our team has further evaluated and studied our industrial prototypes, focusing on material selection and surface coating assessment, and prepared a complete Execution Plan for the development and engineering of our new Pre2Pos range; commercially, we have consolidated our knowledge of the markets and competition to develop a strong marketing strategy; financially, we have drafted detailed financial forecasts, on a 5-year-projection, and confirmed the potential return on investment.
During our 6-month Feasibility Study, and based on the original Work Plan proposed in the Phase 1 proposal, several activities have been carried out.

Technically, further calculations, tests and component selection for the application were carried out. Following this, a preliminary risk analysis has been conducted to ensure that no issues have been left aside and that all future development will have a low, controlled risk. Our team has prepared a complete Execution Plan for the development and exploitation of the Pre2Pos product range; and we have also selected the required third party subcontractors who will support us in the execution of the Phase 2 project.

Commercially, we have first consolidated our project with the recruitment of Arquimea, experience and innovative with actuators and mechanisms and well established in the Space market. With their support, we have focused on our primary target market, which has allowed us to prepare our marketing and pricing strategy. Also, a complete Freedom-to-Operate analysis was performed to search for any existing IP rights that could conflict with our technology. This analysis has confirmed the novelty of the Pre2Pos concept and the absence of existing threats to its commercialization.

Financially, several scenarios have been detailed, resulting in consolidated financial projections for the 2018-2022 period with a high positive turnover forecast. Different sources of funding have also been evaluated, leading to our decision to present a Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 proposal in September 2015.
We hope to introduce the products into the market in 2018.
They are ideally suited to the Space industry, because they are oil-free, lightweight, compact, and energy saving, as well as having equal or better technical characteristics than existing alternatives. All of these factors will result in significant cost savings for the End-Users.
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