CORDIS - EU research results

Marine Litter Prevention with Autonomous Water Drones

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WasteShark (Marine Litter Prevention with Autonomous Water Drones)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2018-07-31

The WasteShark aquadrone was designed to stop plastic pollution in our oceans at the source. It’s well documented that 80% of marine litter (8 million tons per annum) comes from urban and land-based water bodies. RanMarine understood that by combating plastic waste in water before it entered the ocean not only could we reduce the threat to the environment but commercially a customer could be identified. Having executed an MVP prototype RanMarine has spent recent months consolidating its study into the launching of its first commercial MVP into a global market. While having a good understanding of local conditions in the Netherlands, we wanted to gain greater insight into selling a new and innovative product in the very established ways and business of the Marine and Maritime sector.

While developing an innovation such as the WasteShark has gained RanMarine Technology much praise from environmentalists, the media and the public at large, without a commercial route to market the business would be a failure and as such so would its good intentions. Having innovations such as the WasteShark become a new normal in the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans, we believe are imperative for society at and the environment. Having a clear path to commercialisation in as many markets as possible in order to add to marine litter solutions globally, meant investigating how we as a business planned to enter these new markets successfully.

The WasteShark has been designed and built in the Netherlands by an international team of very experienced entrepreneurs, technologists, and business developers. Our goal is to make the WasteShark available commercially in Q3 2018. In order to be successful in this endeavor we have to better assess the commercial potential of our innovation and refine our go-to-market strategy.

For this reason, we have defined two objectives for our feasibility study:
1. Make a detailed compared market study at a global level about the two market segments namely public authorities managing water surfaces and privately owned marinas targeted by RanMarine 

2. Analyze the regulatory requirements and main risks/barriers for the commercial rollout of our innovation for the different countries and regions of interest 

By determining who our customers were, how they viewed innovation, new product and procurement, we believed we could form the basis of sales strategy to enter global commercial markets.

We have engaged and visited a number of key potential customers and users both within the Netherlands and Europe as well as further abroad in the USA, Dubai, Africa and India to validate these potential markets, understand how we enter these regions and how to pitch our product commercially.

One of the key factors in our feasibility study was to establish the need for our product. During the last six months RanMarine Technology was actively able to run three major pilots in predetermined market segments, with a fourth due in September 2018; over this period we conducted fourteen demonstrations on five different continents.

As our report will show, RanMarine Technology has been able to show a strong commercial demand for its products in the maritime sector as well as understand regionally how best to enter and integrate our offering. The results of our study clearly indicate a market need, a purchasing desire and vision for accessing new global markets.
RanMarine undertook to use a combination of real-world product demonstrations to get direct feedback from our intended clientele, as well as interrogation of potential clients from regions outside of the EU. During the project period, RanMarine Technology was able to engage and demonstrate the WasteShark to customers and potential partners in the USA, UAE, South Africa and Germany. Feedback and engagement at these demonstrations as well as follow-up meetings gave the company unique insight into what our customers are looking to see and gain from our product.

RanMarine undertook 14 live demonstrations in a number of the aforementioned regions, as well as two pilots. A combination of insights learnt via customer queries and operational feedback given in the pilot project sessions gave RanMarine the ability to sharpen its thinking on market needs while at the same time segmenting our potential markets into viable targets.

The key results from customer investigation and market analysis for the business has been the signing of three partnership agreements in three regions globally, and the understanding of how the variations of our Public and Private sector clients procure new innovations.
The expected impact of our study should be that it is developed into a full business and marketing plan for RanMarine Technology; with new territory partners and a strong media and brand presence already established, we are aiming to keep to our intended commercial phase in Q3 of 2018. With a rapid expansion of business into new markets based on this plan, we hope to make an immediate impact on the marine litter problem worldwide and develop further solutions in the marine and maritime field.