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Development of advanced all-inclusive research and development services for tire manufacturers

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TRRC (Development of advanced all-inclusive research and development services for tire manufacturers)

Période du rapport: 2016-07-01 au 2016-12-31

The tire industry lacks of the service provider in which the tire manufacturer could purchase all research activities. At the moment, the trend is that especially new tire companies want to outsource their R&D activities as their own R&D centre are not cost-effective. Furthermore, continuously increasing competition and new regulations force tire manufacturers to develop environmental-friendlier tires (lower fuel consumption, silence, etc.). This challenges R&D departments to create totally new innovations and methods. This kind of development work is expensive and time-consuming if it happens inside the tire companies in their individual laboratories. Moreover, the education of the rubber sector is rather small in Europe and a major part of training is carried out in the factories. This cause a situation that the R&D centres of the tire manufacturers endures lack of the latest development steps in science.

The overall objective of the project was to finalize and commercialize an innovative business model utilizing modern techniques and technology to perform objective, independent, and all-inclusive R&D services for tire manufacturers in all continents. The new service concept is seen important as the world relies heavily on the use of tires, which have a significant impact on all societies, economy and environment. The novel business concept provides real and measurable benefits for the customers, i.e. remarkable reduction in the development costs of new energy efficient and environmental friendly rubber materials, compounds and tires. Additionally, there will be indirect savings for society from reduced fuel consumption, increased safety and decreased environmental impact. Furthermore, the testing of tires and the reliability of the tests carried out by magazines have been on board in EU region recently. It has shown that it is impossible for consumers to get completely objective information with the current testing systems showing a need of independent testing services. This can be improved by creating an objective testing centre and testing practices.
In the Phase 1, feasibility assessment, the business potential of the innovation was evaluated by preparing a business plan and by analysing markets and prospect customers and their needs. This was done by preparing the business plan including market analysis, the prospect customer survey and the commercialization and financing plans. The feasibility assessment revealed that the tire business is still growing fast and there is a need for this kind of service. Some of the customers have already been involved in purchasing the new testing services. However, it became clear that confidential issues needs to be taken into consideration and the details of NDAs need to be discussed with customers thoroughly. In addition, the business model was updated according to the wishes of the prospect customers.

Moreover, opportunities to cooperate with other companies and academies were determined. Some opportunities were found out and the further discussions are going on.
The R&D services to be commercialized will have many economic, social and environmental impacts due to the improvements in development of tires and their testing methods as well as due to increased know-kow of tire technology. The expected impacts include e.g.,the reduction of fuel consumption and the amount of micro-sized polymers in oceans . In addition, the new R&D platform is predicted to cause the direct savings of tire manufacturers about EUR 4.8 billion, indirect savings for society and consumers from reduced fuel consumption during automobile life time and savings for society and governments from increased safety and decreased environmental impact.
Planned R&D services and their targeted goals