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Craft Malting Process Innovation for a Competitive and Collaborative Rural Economy

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CAPTIVATE (Craft Malting Process Innovation for a Competitive and Collaborative Rural Economy)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-02-28

CAPTIVATE is a “Craft Malting Process Innovation for a Competitive and Collaborative Rural Economy”. Building on our global micro maltings business. Custom Laboratory Products Ltd (“CLP”) has applied its 30 years’ sector knowledge to develop a highly innovative craft malting process, suitable for on-farm use.

In 2014, both Europe’s farming and food sectors provided 7% of all jobs and generated 6% of European gross domestic product. But global competition, industrialisation, urban expansion, increasing and diversifying demands of a growing world population, resource scarcity and climate change are a challenge for the sector’s prosperity. In Europe, between 2005-13, the number of farm holdings fell by 3.7% and the number of agricultural workers fell by 12.8%, indicating a long-term decline in the sector and a trend for bigger farms. Farmers, particularly SMEs, lack the infrastructure to add value to their crops themselves, resulting in them taking the smallest margins for their crops, from large companies who will process, distribute and sell them. They need innovative solutions to help them diversify, collaborate and grow.

CAPTIVATE presents such a solution, providing arable farmers the opportunity to access the growing, global craft malt market directly and empowering them to capitalise on the success of the craft beer market by creating a new craft malt market, providing a local solution from grain to glass. In addition, it will also enable farmers to grow across traditional boundaries by selling high value malt rather than low value barley directly to the end-users within the brewery, distilling and food sectors.
The overall objective of the project is the refinement, scaling up to bring to both technological maturity and commercial readiness a 2.5 tonne larger, modular and cost effective version of our prototype, in addition to the empowerment of farms to add value to their barley thereby driving cooperative and shared economic development in the rural economy. The anticipated success for the project will secure both €48.4 million annual revenue and €18.8 million annual profit for CLP by 2021, in addition to the creation of 162 jobs (3 year post project)

During the 2nd Reporting Period, the 3D CAD models were further developed and extracted into the 2D drawings for use during the fabrication and builds of two large prototype machines, in addition to the development of the models for prediction of energy use and multiple machine use.

Trials were carried out towards improving the energy efficiency of the system, in addition to improving the flexibility of control system/software to allow for both automatic control and optimisation as/when required during operation. A further major development has been the full fabrication of the 1st generation of the CM1250 machines, including the installation and testing of the pipework, electrical panels and other major components including the software which was loaded into the control panels.

In addition to the fabrication of the machines, test procedures have been developed and written for both empty and full testing of the CM1250 SG & Kiln, which has subsequently taken place and from which feedback has been received which has enabled further refinements to be made to system for future use by customers during their day to day operations.
The main innovation of CAPTIVATE will be the scalability of the modular 2.5 tonne system, with one kiln able to support as many as 6 Steep/Germinators in a single system, which will enable farmers to select the production capacity to give the best return on investment, ability to grow/add capacity according to market needs.
CAPTIVATE presents farmers with an opportunity to access the growing, global craft malt, in addition to empowering them to create an additional craft malt market which have the following benefits for farmers:

• Cost Effective
• Automated
• Reliable
• Safe
• Secure
• Production of consistently high quality mail
• Rapid payback to users

CAPTIVATE is to be transported in a series of shipping containers to customers, which makes the system secure and mobile, avoiding the need for a build/renovation of housing structures for the system. In addition, the system can be delivered fully assembled and tested for customers to begin the malting process within days of being received.

CAPTIVATE is already showing significant commercial potential, as customers are already finding the system’s ease of use attractive, in addition to the system enabling farmers to gain access to the growing global malt market.

A second complementary market opening for CAPTIVATE is anticipated, via the sale of the system to large maltings and brewers for the production/testing of speciality malts for R&D activities/premium lines.

It is anticipated the over 500 systems will be sold primarily within Europe (initially markets in the UK, Italy, Norway, France & Spain) and the USA, from which cumulative global profits of €62.50 million and the creation of 162 jobs are also anticipated.