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Unlocking urban barriers for disabled people

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - STAIRLESS (Unlocking urban barriers for disabled people)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-09-30

Wheelchairs users worldwide experience continuous mobility/accessibility issues in their everyday life due to architectural barriers that cannot be overcome without external assistance, e.g. about 10- 20% of EU mobility disabled citizens experience barriers/reduced accessibility to transportation.
Solutions to this issue, such as wheelchair lifts/platforms, stair climbers and ramps, are only limited. Therefore, Stairless aims to improve the autonomy of wheelchair users: it is it is a power wheelchair with a uniquely engineered design that enables to safely overcome architectural barriers without the need for external assistance.
From June to September 2016 we performed a thorough Feasibility study to verify the techno-economic viability of STAIRLESS:
In our technical analysis we assessed the different options for optimization of the design (to be implemented in Phase 2), e.g. changing materials to achieve the targeted weight reduction of 20%. We defined the operational parameters to be achieved, as well as certifications, and prepared a detailed work plan for Phase 2 including cost estimations.
Our Freedom to Operate Analysis enabled us to verify that there are no IPR solutions (patents or products in the market) that could hinder our commercialization.
Our market analysis demonstrated that our target market is “healthy” and growing: the global electric wheelchair market is expected to grow at a robust CAGR of 19.2% from 2014 to 2020 up to $4.48 billion in 2020, driven mainly by the increase in elderly population forecasted for the next decades. This represents the perfect scenario for the deployment of STAIRLESS, for which we prepared a detailed commercialization and dissemination strategy.
Our financial plan confirmed the economic feasibility of our product, with costs which are realistic and in-line with those of products currently in the market. STAIRLESS will enable us to achieve revenues of €10.3 million in 2023.
STAIRLESS will imply a radical change for wheelchair users, who will not depend any more in external help. In this sense it will disrupt the electric wheelchair market: our wheelchair will represent an extremely cost-effective solution to increase the autonomy of users without compromising their safety and at a competitive cost (in range with current products in the market).
Moreover, STAIRLESS will contribute to boost the growth of our company, both in economic and personnel terms.