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Industrialisation of the CoeLux(VR) product line, through upscaling of the nanodispersion production process, and optimisation of the production chain

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CoeLux VR (Industrialisation of the CoeLux(VR) product line, through upscaling of the nanodispersion production process, and optimisation of the production chain)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-04-30

The mission of the CoeLux technology is changing the way we experience the light, by bringing the outdoors indoors. After 12 years of research, CoeLux developed the CoeLux High End, the first commercial product able to reproduce sky and sunlight in an interior space. The result is a warm, direct, sunlight and a surrounding sky light, completely transforming indoor spaces, giving them volume and shape through light and shadow, and which allows creating a new relationship between people and the surrounding architecture. The next step of the company’s growth plan is to bring this pioneering product, which can be produced for a small niche of high-end users, to the industrial scale, thus satisfying the blossoming demand. The CoeLuxVR innovation project will deliver two new modular systems amenable to large scale production. This will be achieved through 4 developmental stages: 1. The upscaling of the nanomaterial diffusing panel, which represents one of the company’s key and proprietary technology. 2. The design and optimization of a compact optical system, enable to substantially reduce the overall thickness of the CoeLux products. 3 Engineering, industrial design and packaging, which focuses around the customers’ perception of the product, as well as its industrial manufacturing process. 4. Finally, the overarching ambition is to set-up the production supply chain, inspired by lean manufacturing principles, organizing the sourcing of the semi-finished products from the selected suppliers, and the internal production logistics in a standardized manufacturing plan, in view of the high-end positioning of the product.
During Period 2, the optical system and the industrial design of the two products have been developed following the market requirements. This enabled to define the integration workflow, and proceed with the actual integration of the components and the development of the products’ demonstrators. The operations and logistics procedures have been set up, and the supply chain has been defined by involving selected suppliers. The marketing plan has been put in practice for promoting the new product. The CoeLux ST product has been finally launched in the market in November 2016, during the LuxLive London fair. The main achievements of the CoeLux VR project are summarized as follows:

• Design, engineering, industrialization and commercialization of the CoeLux ST product.
• Design, and development of a demonstrator produced with industry-scalable techniqueso of the CoeLux High Tech product.
• 4 new patents applications filed.
• 2 design patents applications filed.
• 8 patent prosecutions.
• 6 patents granted (1 in US, 1 in Japan, 2 in China, 2 in EU).
• 1 successful trademark opposition in the EU.
• 5 new salesmen employed.
• Worldwide product commercialization.
• Pre-order of over 350 CoeLux ST pieces signed by February 2017.
• First non-demo CoeLux ST pieces shipped in May 2017.
• Over 1,000 ST units expected to be sold in 2017.
• Fundraising campaign, started in October 2016 led to a 3 million € closing in April 2017.
• Complete revision of the CoeLux website.
• Launch of 6 social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinedIn, YouTube, Archilovers).
• Launch of the newsletter, with 20 issues sent to around 6,000 recipients.
• over 10 new videos shot by professional media agency on CoeLux and its products.
• Participation in 30 events, including national and international fairs, conferences, festivals, conventions, etc.
• Dissemination of thousands of ST product brochures, datasheets, flyers, and gadgets.
• Three press release, with dozens of articles published about CoeLux and its products on both generalist and specialized press.
• Increase in number of employees: from 7 at the beginning of 2015 to 24 today (9 in the R&D, 5 in operations, 4 in administration and 6 in S&M).
• Increase in the company turnover to over 2 million € (forecast for 2017), over half of which from the sales of the CoeLux ST systems.
The project main objective is to design, manufacture, and commercialize two new products which are expected to enable CoeLux to address the worldwide market at large, and doing it well before any competitor will be. In particular, the first product is intended to enlarge the customer base, thanks to the reduced size with respect to the High End products, and to its linear shape that perfectly suits specific applications, like offices, passageways, and the like. The second product is the natural evolution of the CoeLux technology, which will ensure a sky-sun illumination and visual appearance as close as possible to current CoeLux High End products, but without the limitation due to the huge volume currently necessary. This will open up applications which are currently hindered by the overall size of the products, especially in sectors like transport, real estate, etc. Thank to its high flexibility the product can also be customized by arranging various modules in the desired shape or even to create a full-sky effect. Thanks to these products, the CoeLux will pursue its positioning strategy based on the following distinctive product values:
1. Uniqueness, which enriches the aesthetic attributes of the product with a solution that goes beyond simple design. Like the brilliant design masterpieces of other competing solutions, CoeLuxVR literally touches the users, but more importantly, it makes them interact with light, capturing and entertaining them.
2. Convergence: the latest trends in high-end lighting design focus on the convergence between the functional and aesthetic attributes of the product, which very often challenges the designers with difficult trade-offs. CoeLuxVR decorative function is surely the first tangible attribute, but the product is really thought to shine a light that is definitely “usable”, putting the users in a more comfortable, relaxing, and productive environment.
3. Value Creation: green, sustainable and people centric building design and construction approaches are now gradually gaining momentum, as well as internationally recognised certification processes and standards, as the LEED Certification from the Green Building Council, and the BREEAM in the UK. Very strict requirements in terms of interior comfort are currently requested in order for building to obtain a certification (which in the case of LEED can be Basic, Silver, Gold, or Platinum), or to progress to the next grade, which of course implies an increase of the building value. Differently to other competitors, CoeLuxVR is already deemed to contribute to the certification of buildings with few or no access to direct light, and the company is already in discussion with such certification bodies to validate such use of the technology.
The synthesis of these three values is poised to demonstrate direct and indirect gains for customers, deriving from change of consumer behaviour, staff motivation, concentration, improved wellness, and a general thrill of positive energy given by such new experience.
CoeLux ST installation at EuroLuce 2017.
CoeLux ST installation in a demo space.