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Wonder Ants — A new eco-friendly-innovation solution to persistent invasive ants.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WONDANTS (Wonder Ants — A new eco-friendly-innovation solution to persistent invasive ants.)

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

"The overall objective of Wonder Ants is to introduce a brand new eco-friendly-innovation solution to a very persistent problem: invasive ants. It is quite impossible to solve the problem of invasive ants unless you use chemical pesticides which represent a threat for natural biodiversity, putting at risk eco-system health, standing as a crucial pollution factor for natural resources. To achieve this goal, specific objectives of the present action is the following:
- to assess the feasibility of the business innovation to identify the following priorities:
1. Technical feasibility of the product;
2. Economic viability: understanding the potential of market penetration within the European domain, and a Business Plan (BP) to design a route for successfully entering the market.
Starting from these 2 priorities, the objectives of the FS will result as following:

1. Technical feasibility of the product : To test the prototype efficiency (now at a “relevant level”) in full operational system level, in order to:
- understand a broad spectrum potential (ants considered most invasive);
- determine/refine the technical specifications to be used indoor/outdoor;
- observe in the real environment how ants react to the formula based on the mixed essential oils;
- distinguish different raw materials (essential oils and natural elements) according to different clusters;
- fine-tune the original synthesis of different raw materials, depending on the best performance rates.

2. Economic viability: To plan the potential of the product market penetration within the European domain (area test: Italy (I), France (F), Germany (D)):
- to analyze the EU market potentials [benchmarking; surveys/interviews; raw materials suppliers];
- to define the macro business requirements towards the selected markets [capacity/volumes];
- to define the so called “local-design”: multiple area supply-channels for the required raw materials;
- to identify/analyze use cases referred to policies, standard requirements and regulation fields;
- to identify critical success factors (including barriers to the market) along the whole supply-chain;
- to identify and compare costs/benefits streams;
- to develop an advanced Economic Analysis (Budgeting and Sensitivity Analysis).

The outcomes of the feasibility study will be the following:
- to produce a true system of the product (TRL #8) to be introduced in the market (market area test);
- to develop a BP (EU-fitting go-to-market + regulatory plan, risk assessment, supply-curve, IP strategy).

"Technical/scientific in progress implementation and status:
Entostudio Srl conducted a screening about the needed protocols as well as set up the relevant equipment to be used for the efficacy tests of Wonderants (the name of the product in the Italian language will be ""Formichina scappa via"", i.e. ""Little Ant run away""). The tests were carried out in summer time as the best period for trials; ants, in fact, are particularly invasive in this season.

Regulatory and IPR:
Gaba Srl conducted a careful analysis of Wonderants formula and related components in order to evaluate and to determine the best solution to be offered to the market, i.e. liquid or powder. This implied a detailed analysis of all the EU regulations related to the above-mentioned type of product; the analysis included the very recent EU regulations published in the last few months as well as the screening of all the scientific bibliographic documentation available in oder to properly assess the most suitable product to be viable at EU level. A particular care was given to detect and screen what kind of efficacy trials are needed with respect to the chosen final solution requested by the national authorities of the selected target markets. A complete report was produced outlining the next steps for Wonder Ants to be compliant to the EU as well as country markes regulations.
As regard IPR, a carefull FTO was conducted in order to confirm Wonder Ants viability. On top of this, a detailed screen and detection of potential claims from third parties playing the eco-friendly repellent market sector was conducted as well as a check on any third parties intellectual property right (namely patents or trade secrets) that could be potentially infringed by Wonder Ants. The FTO showed that at present time no other relevant competitors filed patents similar to Wonder Ants, thus in principal risks are low.

Market Analysis:
A detailed market analysis was initiated at the star of the project and elaborated in details all along the project duration. The analysis investigated the market context, screening ""total available market"", country markets segmentation, industry drivers, market trends, highlighting market size and growth potential; an analysis of the demand with respect to the product value proposition was elaborated; target audience analysis and customer segmentation was carefully investigated; initial target countries for the product introduction and potential market applications. A SWOT analysis was also elaborated in order to identify potential barriers as well opportunities to exploit at best. As a result, we identified the strategic country markets for the initial introduction of the product into the market, paving the way for the Strategic and Implementation Plan elaboration.

Strategic and Implementation Plan:
On the basis of the technical/scientific as well as business activities conducted, we elaborated the Strategic and Implementation Plan for Wonder Ants, including the identification of the go-to-market strategy, key distribution chains, key resources and partners needed, relevant stakeholders to be involved. Communication and promotional means to engage both all the target audiences selected were elaborated and consolidated.
At the same time, a resource analysis was conducted, identifying cost structure and outlining financial resources in order to provide a crystal-clear understanding of the potential of the product on the market and how the proposed innovation can boost our growth as a company."
"Basing on the activities performed, we identified the appropriate solution for the product to be then introduced into the market for repelling ants, i.e. a liquid formula. Furthermore, other solutions were elaborated extending the potential offer to be introduced into the market in terms of product portfolio. This was achieved and consolidated basing on the data gathered from the efficacy tests and the opportunity to register the product as biocide. First design concept for the packaging to be adopted were conducted, keeping in strong consideration the liquid formula features and related requirements, but also the other potential applications: the formula, in fact, consists of essential oils mix which is particularly viscose and thus compatible only with some existing products on the market. Several tests were conducted to match the adopted formula and the proper packaging design at best.
A toxicological assessment of the formula was conduct, achieving positive results and highlighting lack of toxicity by inhalation or skin contact.

The market analysis research showed that the market for Wonder Ants is pretty relevant and a fast growing one given to two main relevant factors: 1. the stringent regulations posed by governments at global level, but in particular in Europe, paired with an increased request to the food processing industry to be compliant with high quality and hygiene standards, thus driving the demands on improving pest control; 2. the boosting of population growth as well as urbanisation, and in particular the raising in numbers of the so-called ""midlle class"", which will be key in driving the demand in the residential market sector. In terms of geographic spectrum and for the purpose of the project, key country markets will be represented by Italy, France, Germany and - resulting from the market investigation - also UK and Ireland; in the middle-long term, US will be also addressed being the first global market for size and in particular for invasive ants."
We elaborated the official logo of Wonder Ants as part of our brand identity