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The first Colour Denture Printer

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - indepenDent (The first Colour Denture Printer)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2019-11-30

Approximately, 32% of the world’s population aged 65 and above is edentulous and this number is continually growing. The challenge facing the dental industry is the ability to meet the increased demand for precision-made removable prosthetics using traditional prescription and fabrication processes. This was the main driving force behind the indepenDent development.
Based on our 30+ years’ experience in the dentist industry we have developed a complete patented methodology for the automatic production of complete and partial dentures using coloured 3D printing and an USPTO registered trademark. The result is a perfect quality denture with real look produced in 150 minutes so the patient can leave the dentistry with a full set of teeth after a single visit.
We have built a prototype (based on Fused Deposition Modelling) and validated the full methodology using the available 3D printing materials. What hindered the commercialisation of the system was the availability of suitable 3D printing material that can be used for dental applications. For this reason we have decided to develop our own material (PhilaDent) and established a partnership with Filamania Ltd who are the best custom filament developers in the region and they have the capability of producing the perfect type of materials we need for printing dentures using our technology.
Furthermore, we finalised the business model of the project, and according to our results, the indepenDent system will have a huge economic and social impact on the dental industry. The faster, better quality and cheaper production of dentures will result in satisfied patients. In addition according to our forecast it will generate profits in the region of € 8 million 3 years after the development is completed. We have wide range of networks (over 300 past customers) and have sold over 5,000 machines to the dental industry (through distributors and our own sales). This gives us the perfect environment to commercialise independent.
Based on our business modelling and industry feedback our novel technology has great potential; hence we have been investing a lot of our resources to reach the current results. However, to maximise the social and commercial benefits of indepenDent we want to reach the commercial phase faster, hence we have decided to apply for EIC Accelerator (Phase 1 and 2) program (and/or private VC).
The aim of our Phase 1 project was to carry out a feasibility study in order to establish the ethical framework for legislating such materials and to update our commercialisation strategy for entering the market with the indepenDent system. For the Phase 2 project we plan to finalise the PhilaDent material to be used, certify it for dental applications and optimise our printer for the new material as well as implement communication actions for successful commercialisation.
To achieve our goals, we re-evaluated some of our technical decisions as well as our market researches. We also extended our knowledge about the current legislation processes within the European Union (and beyond). In order to enter the market fast and to be able to supply the demand we made partnerships with companies who can support our piloting activities.
As part of the feasibility study, we re-evaluated some of our technical decisions as well as our market researches. We also extended our knowledge about the current legislation processes within the European Union (and beyond). In order to enter the market fast and to be able to supply the demand we made partnerships with companies who can support our piloting activities.
• We have carried out a comprehensive market analysis focusing on Europe as our market entry region and concluded that around € 80 billion is spent on dental treatment in the European Union. Given that there are 512.7 million EU citizens (as of 2018), this is equivalent to about € 156 per capita, and this figure continues to rise.
• We have identified the following trends that will establish the perfect timing and environment for our development:
o The growing proportion of older people and increasing awareness of oral health are contributing to the growth of the dental equipment market.
o Osteoporosis is a disease of bone, which is common in middle-aged post-menopausal women. Bone weakness and loss (especially in jaw bone) makes implantation difficult or impossible.
o Modern digital technologies make it possible to impress and convince patients of the positive end result of a prosthetic restoration as early as the planning phase.
o Prices of 3D printers are falling, and they are now even affordable for small labs.
o The trend towards consolidation of the dental market is evident throughout Europe, both in the area of dental care and among manufacturers, laboratories and retailers.
o The additive manufacturing technologies (especially the 3D tools for complex and multi-step workflow like indepenDent) give a good opportunity for the European players to reduce their international exposure and realise further savings e.g. on logistics.
• We have reviewed and analysed the regulations related to the commercialisation of indepenDent and have identified the necessary steps required for piloting and market entry.
• We have finalised our product specification and determined the corresponding pricing strategy. This information was used to update our revenue projection and financial calculations.
• We have carried out a detailed technology watch focusing on dental materials and have identified our main competitors.
• We have validated our business model through discussions with existing and potential customers and stakeholders.
• We have determined our market entry strategy and identified our piloting partners that are needed for the performance validation.
• We have determined a scalable value chain model that we will use to support our global expansion.
• We have identified the most critical risks of the development project implementation and derived corresponding mitigation and corrective actions.
• We have reviewed and updated our IPR strategy.
• Based on the analysis we have concluded the following:
o Our market entry products will be the integrated multi-head 3D denture printer (CAPEX) + Material (OPEX).
o Our short term (1-4 years after market entry) targeted territory will be Europe.
o Our market entry and short-term costumer segments will be dental clinics and health centres, large dental practices and chains, and dental laboratories.
o Our market entry user characteristics is older (60+), partially or complete edentulism (tooth loss) with osteoporosis symptoms, higher health awareness, higher liquidity, and higher aesthetic demand.