Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ARENA (Arena-Master Mobile Solution for Complete Synthetic Turf Recycling On-site)
Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2015-12-31
Based on the phase-1 study results, ASIE has validated both the technical and economic feasibility of the proposed innovation project. All the planned tasks were performed in right time and gave expected results. Comprehensive mechanical tests and configuration with prototype systems and manufacturing analysis including real environment experiments within ASIE´s field renewal projects, gave valuable input to further product development planning. The phase-1 tasks confirmed the technology´s high reliability and market potential and also pointed out the key points of emphasis for the further development. Within phase-1 project, ASIE has also validated its novel concept´s environmental sustainability.
In overall, there are no significant changes in project objectives as the feasibility study confirmed the potential of the initial product development and commercialisation plan. Based on new key findings, ASIE has adjusted the product´s features and commercialisation strategy that are in accordance with end-users´ needs and overall business environment opportunities.
The feasibility study has also pointed out the main categories, where external support is needed for further developing the business and synthetic turf fields’ renewal and recycling technology. In the next product development and commercialisation phase, ASIE plans to include several subcontractors for specific components and machinery development, supply chain management analysis and successful service commercialisation at targeted European markets. The business plan and commercialisation strategy developed within the phase-1 project help to engage relevant stakeholders, attract external investors, form strong phase-2 proposal and ensure successful implementation of the innovation project.
Business plan – a business plan and commercialisation strategy were prepared to ensure successful project implementation and product roll-out within the phase-2 project. The business plan included an overall synthetic turf installations market analysis to detect the main end-user needs, total market volume, main development trends and market opportunities etc. More narrow market overview of synthetic turf football stadiums´ end-of-life management solutions and equipment mapped current market bottlenecks, clients’ expectations and available solutions. Competition analysis mapped the currently available synthetic turf removal and recycling solutions and other similar technologies to assess the potential market size and development trends.
Patent study and freedom-to-operate analysis – Subcontracted patent officer performed a patent study and preliminary freedom-to-operate analysis at ASIE´s targeted markets. The patent study mapped similar patents and technologies to support the competition analysis. The patent study results and the freedom-to-operate analysis confirmed that ASIE´s product development is not in conflict with any other project or patents. ASIE´s complete synthetic turf removal and end-of-life management technology has technological uniqueness and novelty.
Manufacturability and technical development study – Within phase-1 project ASIE performed several technological feasibility assessments to achieve maximum operating efficiency according to ASIE´s underling synthetic turf end-of-life management principles. Best technological and operational solutions were searched for synthetic turf removal, infill separation and reinstallation/recycling/utilization phases. The technological feasibility assessment involved testing various technological concepts/prototypes, analysing ASIE´s operational strategy, involving external technical experts and setting the most feasible technological development strategy for the phase-2 project and ASIE´s further product development.
As a result of the feasibility assessment, ASIE has identified the most viable technological solutions for CRAB tool, made several preliminary tests to finalise Arena-Master´s infill separation technical concept, studied different plastics recycling options, analysed synthetic turf removal and recycling service operational flow and strategy and finally involved the main technological and business development partners. The manufacturability and technical development study has helped to form the most feasible product development plan and pointed out the main technological and operational bottlenecks that need to be addressed within phase-2 project.
Partner search – As the main partner search activity in 2015, ASIE visited the main synthetic turf industry conferences and trade fairs and formed many beneficial contacts with industry key members and potential clients. Based on these initial contacts, ASIE concentrated its following partner search activities mainly to targeted regions and key stakeholders. As a result of phase-1 partner search, ASIE has found very strong commercialisation partners that enable unlocking targeted markets. As a second objective in this task, ASIE formed partnerships with various technological and business development partners. This has also covered preparation phase for SMEI main project.
ASIE´s solution addresses user needs for cost-effective and fast synthetic turf renewal process. Very often the synthetic turf end-of-life (EOL) management costs are not planned in the initial installation budget and come as a surprise to the field owners. Currently the average cost for handing over the materials of one full-size football pitch to waste management station is around €50,000, plus transportation costs. The non-recycled full artificial grass football pitch weighs around 300 tonnes and takes about 12 truckloads to transport. ASIE´s full recycling service does not require additional materials transport and enables to save 95% of all transporation need within the field renewal project. In addition, the reclaimed infill materials can be reused in the new installation or sold as raw materials. The innovative CRAB technology enables low-impact removal of the old synthetic turf in a way, it can be reused as a training ground or a lower-grade football pitch in another installation. High quality materials re-installation potential will increase synthetic turf and infill reuse rate from current 10% to over 90% and eliminates currently prevailing landfill option. Another advantage of our solution comes from up to 4-times better turf removal speed which in total leads to market leading 7-day whole field renovation. Improved renewal process speed means less postponed events, trainings, and competitions for the field owner and reduces the direct economic impact coming from the construction process. Therefore in total, ASIE´s service helps to lower the synthetic turf end-of-life management costs by at least 50% and increase the artificial grass sustainable management recycling rates.