CORDIS - EU research results

PRIFOG - A technology-powered producer responsibility initiative for fat, oil and grease compliance for food service outlets

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PRIFOG (PRIFOG - A technology-powered producer responsibility initiative for fat, oil and grease compliance for food service outlets)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-05-31

"PRIFOG - A Producer Responsibility Initiative for Fat Oil and Grease - was an assessment of the potential of creating a software platform for the improved management of fat, oil and grease regulations throughout Europe and internationally.

The project was supported by Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) through the H2020-SMEINST-1-2015 call under the topic INSO-9-2015-1: Innovative mobile e-government applications by SMEs.

The project addressed two key societal issues:

1) the effective management of fat, oil and grease pollution from food businesses to protect the urban environment,
2) the ever increasing burden of regulations on the food service sector.

FOG, a by-product of food production, is a major contributing factor to sewer blockages in urban areas. FOG poses challenges to sewer asset managers, and adversely affects citizens in cities worldwide. To combat FOG, many cities impose regulations on food service businesses (FSBs) in the form of a FOG source control program. However, satisfying the requirements of these regulations places a significant financial and operational burden on food service businesses.

PRIFOG, was a feasibility analysis for SwiftComply, a software platform that allows food businesses to purchase, schedule and manage their FOG compliance online. SwiftComply works in partnership with local governments (or ""city authorities"") to perform transactional oversight of FOG services - therefore reducing the requirement for FSBs to be submit annual reports to the city authority or for the city to perform on-site inspections of FSBs.

PRIFOG aligns with the European Commission’s (the Commission’s) Digital Single Market strategy through the promotion of Digital Public Services and the European Cloud Initiative. It allows city authorities (or local governments) and food businesses to work together more effectively to reduce their regulatory burden and make the EU a better place to live, work and invest in food service businesses.

Furthermore, by placing businesses at the centre of the compliance process, we can maximise the impact of environmental regulation – and minimise the effect of FOG on our urban areas.

Our platform connects regulators, food service businesses, and service providers for a common goal. Protecting the health of our community is now simple, transparent, and business friendly.

PRIFOG demonstrated significant opportunity for the SwiftComply solution and presents the opportunity to create jobs across the EU, and globally. The project has resulted in the development of a European and US sales strategy for SwiftComply and the development of two further city-partnerships for SwiftComply in addition to the existing project in Dublin, Ireland.
"PRIFOG was a feasibility analysis for the SwiftComply software platform. Throughout the project four key tasks were performed:
1. A market analysis was performed on FOG regulations across EU and internationally to determine a need for SwiftComply - Local and national regulations were reviewed in 9 countries to determine whether FOG is controlled under regulation, and whether there are assigned maintenance requirements.
2. A proof of concept pilot study was launched in Dublin, Ireland – with 600 food service businesses invited to submit documentation online. Close to 500 businesses opted to submit their documentation online to reduce their inspection requirements. Further to this, willingness to purchase and manage FOG maintenance services through the platform was demonstrated in Dublin and further confirmed in Tempe, Arizona, USA, where SwiftComply is set to launch a full purchasing, scheduling and certification platform in the coming months.
3. The SwiftComply Technology Roadmap was developed and is now under the management of our Product Manager and Senior Developer. User feedback has been absorbed from the Dublin trials and the product is set for a complete launch in October 2016.
4. An elaborated business plan has been developed and is attached as the main output of this Action.

Through the PRIFOG project, Evolution Environmental Services (EES) have realised significant potential in SwiftComply. This has resulted in SwiftComply, and all associated IP, spinning out of EES as its own entity.

The project has been exploited and disseminated effectively with SwiftComply taking part in the European Welcome Project, supported by the Commission, where the team have been introduced to various European startup eco-systems and culminated in a three week course on innovation and business development in Silicon Valley and participation in the Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley, and European Innovation Day - to stimulate networking and business opportunities, as well as to help create economically impactful and long lasting ecosystems on both sides of the Atlantic and enable businesses to scale up beyond their borders.

SwiftComply are also enrolled in the Techstars London Accelerator program – the world’s #2 accelerator program (behind Y-Combinator, Silicon Valley) where the team are developing the product and strategy with a team of mentors. On completion of this program the team will be closing a round of €1m to fund their growth strategy.
Throughout the PRIFOG project SwiftComply has developed significantly. At the beginning of the project the SwiftComply mobile inspection application (SC – Capture) was at TRL-7 having completed over 6,900 environmental inspections on the platform. SC-Capture is now at TRL-9 with over 16,000 inspections carried out to date.

The SwiftComply self-certification application (SC-Certify) was at TRL-5 at the beginning of the project with just 100 businesses using the platform. PRIFOG has allowed EES/SwiftComply to open the platform to 500 businesses in a closed beta and the continued feedback from these businesses has advance the product to TRL-7.

A further feature, that connects food businesses with trusted and verified food businesses through the platform (SC-Connect) has also been developed and is at TRL-5/6 in advance of full launch in Q4 2016.

The combination of the full suite of SwiftComply applications places the product at TRL-6. With full launch set to take place in two US cities in Q4 2016 – it is envisaged that the product suite will be at TRL-8 for FOG management in Q1 2017. From there the platform will be opened to further compliance services.

The result of these efforts is that SC-Certify has already achieved a 41% saving in cost and time for the city authority. Additionally, we estimate a time saving of up to 28% for FSBs, which is roughly $1000 per year for an average restaurant. When SC-Connect is launched in Q4 2016 – these values will be further increased.

The goal of SwiftComply, moving forward from PRIFOG, will be continue to ensure a balance between our digital and social transformation of the industry norms for environmental management in the food service industry.
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