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Safe sustainable reliable in-office processing of medical waste

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - STERILISE (Safe sustainable reliable in-office processing of medical waste)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2015-10-31

The aim of the STERILISE SME Phase 1 action was to undertake a market feasibility study of an innovative, cost effective, medical waste management unit -The Thermal Eliminator (TE) 5000. The unit will bring about a step change improvement in the sustainable management of medical waste, especially for small medical practices. Convex Ltd developed the innovative waste disposal prototype, which incorporates a dry heat sterilisation process, to TRL 7. The innovative containment, airflow control and filtering of emissions allow the unit to be safely operated in an office environment, treating medical waste at source. An industrially proven and market ready version would overcome the limitations of the current solutions in medical waste disposal.

The feasibility study objectives included :
a) a risk assessment to quantify and mitigate any project technical, legislative, financial and commercial risks
b) a market study to quantify the global regions that will benefit most from our system based upon their national waste management streams.
c) User Involvement: To engage with medical practices and present the TE 5000 concept as well as offer free testing which will be followed up and analysed for any changes.
d) Develop the IPR strategy: To assess the optimum IPR strategy to best valorise our innovation.
e) Innovation Strategy Development: To build up a roadmap for future innovative developments.
f) Emissions Test: To use an industry recognised test facility and perform an emission and odour test on both the sharps cycle and the non-sharps cycle run on the TE 5000.
g) To collate the information gathered in stage 1 and elaborate the Business Plan.
Work performed during the reporting period consisted of a Risk Assessment, Market Study and User Engagement activities, Intellectual Property and Innovation Strategy development, Functionality Testing of the unit carried out by Cruinn Diagnostics Ltd. Emissions Testing was performed by Exova Catalyst. The tests showed the unit to be fit for purpose. The production of a four- minute promotional video was undertaken according to guidelines from media experts.
Based on all of the information gathered to date, the decision not to proceed to the next stage of H2020 funding (SME Phase II) has been taken. It is felt that at this stage it would be putting all funds invested at too high a risk, given the uncertainty of the market.
If the legislation regarding the transportation of medical waste were to change favourably in the future then the potential for the unit finding a market in Europe would increase dramatically. However it is strongly felt that the filtration system of the unit may well have huge potential in other areas- given that it operated so well. The next objective is to explore the potential that this option may present.
Convex