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LICE CULTIVATOR: Fast mechanical cultivator reducing fuel and herbicide use

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LICE (LICE CULTIVATOR: Fast mechanical cultivator reducing fuel and herbicide use)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2019-08-31

Efficient and sustainable food production became a global challenge. Also, the use of herbicides has experimented an increase in the last years. Cultivators are a crucial tool for agronomics today, with the following drawbacks: i) Impact on soil structure, especially in lower layers, increasing soil erosion and prevent water penetration; ii) Depletion of soil organic matter content; iii) Resistance when moving due to the tool shape and materials, increasing fuel waste.
Cavalleretti, and Italian company proposes to mitigate this problem with LICE: LICE: a unique mechanical cultivator solution for farmers. This innovative cultivator is based on a patented system of long-lasting discs which increases speed cultivation to almost 20km/h, avoids “sole” effect, increases soil drainage and expansion (penetrates 15 cm instead usual today 5cm), reduces the use of herbicides, easy to maintain, and reduces the need of fuel from 28 lts/ha to 20 lts/ha with reduction on GHG emissions.
Technical feasibility: analysis of features and optimization roadmap for the further development of the manufacturing of LICE devices. Definition of the different models and results of tests, as well as plans for validation and industrialization analysis.
Freedom to Operate analyzed several patents. There are man historical patents in such a historical field as agronomic machinery, but no one poses a serious threat to LICE. Also, normative and regulations to be fulfilled are analyzed for the different markets.
Commercial feasibility includes the identification of the different markets, main clients, their size and needs, and commercialization strategy.
Financial feasibility and business plan include a sales forecast, EBITDA estimations, and market risks identification. With an initial estimation of 1.18M€ from Phase 2, indicates an ROI of 4.6. Critical risks (technical and commercial) are analyzed.
The market study includes a comprehensive landscape of related cultivators market. Key players and potential competitors and their own new model's comparison with LICE have been executed. The analysis includes the main competitors (John Deere, Lekmen, Maschio Alpego, Dante Machine, KUHN, Vanderstad, and Gregorie Besson). It demonstrates that LICE proposes the best value for money position, and the complete set of features compared to current competitors, thanks to its innovative design. The project has the potential of a societal impact regarding the reduction of fuel, GHG gas emission, and herbicides used.