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The worldwide first exoskeleton for the creation of ergonomic, age-neutral and low-fatigue workplaces in industry and for the reduction of physical strains in the ageing workforce

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Chairless Chair (The worldwide first exoskeleton for the creation of ergonomic, age-neutral and low-fatigue workplaces in industry and for the reduction of physical strains in the ageing workforce)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-08-31

The Chairless Chair provides lower back support to workers that normally must stand all day long and often in long-term damaging body postures. Through close collaboration with large automotive and manufacturing companies, the Chairless Chair was specifically tailored to fit health benefits and user acceptance. In parallel, by creating age-neutral and ergonomic workplaces for workers, the Chairless Chair helps not only the people to stay healthy, but also the companies to save high amounts of costs related to loss of workforce caused by sick or absent workers and fluctuating performance. Based on the present first-mover advantage and a product that perfectly fits the nerve of time, the full commercialisation of our Chairless Chair positioned noonee as a market leader in the segment of wearable ergonomics mechanical devices for the lower body.
With the help of the EU funding, we could not only stay innovation leader and first mover, but we could also strengthen our position as the market leader with the new Chairless Chair 2.0. Increasing the comfort of wearing the Chairless Chair and reducing the limitations, we can now go for several different customers from different industries. The studies we conducted verified the health benefits for the people wearing the Chairless Chair and our partners as well as costumers support us. Besides the original use of the Chairless Chair, we now develop new market and customer segments.
"Due to the possibility to build up our team and spend time with the customers, we managed to get a lot of feedback both, product and process-related. Based on that feedback we could develop the 3rd series of the Chairless Chair (Version 2.0). By solving >80% of customers' issues, we could therewith significantly improve user acceptance. Besides the astonishing improvements of the product, we managed to grow our distribution network to 11 distributors all over the world with 3 more pending. By implementing a standardised reporting and audit system, regular and up-to-date communication is ensured and guarantees the best possible exchange of knowledge and information.
Our aim is, to ensure that besides our sales process, the support, as well as the customer care, will further be improved. We also started to test new market segments like aerospace, surgery, farriers, and agriculture nationally and in cooperation with our global distributors. During the last year, we were able to collect success stories from customers, that really appreciate the product and the solution we offer. This proof of market traction is very important for noonee and motivates each employee as well as our board to continue our effort and further improve our product and approach.
With the Chairless Chair 2.0 noonee created a comfortable, lightweight product that is well accepted by the customers and only has very few limitations.
Thanks to the new upscaled industrial tools, quantities of up to 25,000 pieces can now be produced automatically, quickly, easily and economically to fit the production requirements in Germany. In cooperation with our engineering and production department, we optimised each process step, starting from the logistics ending with a standardised quality gate and feedback reporting, resulting in reliably high quality.
Besides the efforts in developing our product, we managed to significantly improve our processes and our sales organisation, resulting in a state-of-the-art implementation process. Due to the necessity of experiencing the Chairless Chair prior to sales, our commercialisation possibilities are currently limited. Nevertheless, we created an online training to be able to still sell the Chairless Chair during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through good collaboration with our suppliers and a ""Made in Germany"" strategy, our supply chain is working well, resulting not only in high quality but also in steady further development. The services we offer are to-the-point and are well accepted by our customers. Due to our good relationships with our customers, we are always able to test and validate our ideas, product and process-wise. They are happy to be part of our further development and are eager to hear and test news.
With 11 signed distributors we could improve and evaluate our procedure, finding good partners. Beside the distributors, we also offer online training to be able to sell the Chairless Chair globally. Due to a close collaboration with our shareholders, we were able to promptly adapt our business plan based on our learnings and the feedback from our customers. Besides the support from Horizon2020, noonee still is and will be privately financed."
We managed to enable employees with standing workplaces to have an ergonomic work atmosphere, that significantly reduces the burdens on the body and allows to work efficiently, independent from age. Fighting the downsides of the demographic change and creating workplaces that prevent injuries and allow workers to stay healthy is our primary aim. Regarding market penetration, noonee managed to build a strong brand name that is known all over the automotive industry as well as in wide parts of the manufacturing industry. noonee still is and will stay the market leader for passive lower-body exoskeletons. With further growing recognition, we are able to reach more companies and to support more workplaces. Furthermore, we realise a growing interest also beyond the workplaces and find supporters from several different industries. Even in times of contact restrictions as well as limited willingness for investments, the interest in ergonomic workplaces stays present, even if most of the projects in 2020 are postponed to 2021.