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protecting the environment from oil-based lubricants

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NZERO (protecting the environment from oil-based lubricants)

Berichtszeitraum: 2019-08-01 bis 2020-01-31

With an increasing trend for eco-awareness consumers become more conscious about their impact on the environment. Especially outdoor sports people love to exercise in a pristine nature and protect their environment.
Right now, sports lubricants serve as an accessory to glide faster or obtain grip in skiing, skating, cycling, surfing and grip sports such as handball. However existing lubricants are toxic and leave their traces not only in the environment but also the human body and are not bio-degradable. Alternative ‘permanent’ glide treatments applied to the base of Skis or snowboards are developed using nano-particles with their usage also presenting a risk for the environment, and for the users applying them.
As an answer, Marteen Sports developed the first and only entirely bio-degradable ski and skating wax. A fully natural ORGANIC wax. We received already high public recognition through two public eco awards, and are very proud to do our part to support protecting the human and the environment with real eco sports waxes.
Our next step is to develop more waxes and a challenging bike full ECO lubricant, so that we can disrupt the waxing industry to real sustainable and bio-degradable thinking. To grow commercially and to deliver true environmental harmony for Sports lovers.

With our SME Instrument Phase 1 Feasibility Study our objectives were to push tribology development for a new ECO bike lubricant and to review its technical feasibility. We also wanted to research in greater detail the markets for the different Sports sectors were we can enter. The target was to complete market research into customer and stakeholder needs and to refine our commercial approach against these needs. Finally, we wanted to develop a business plan to show how we can drive and support our market growth strategy.
We worked with an excellent coach and overall, delivered a market research report and a strong Business plan with sustainable strategies for market introduction and ramp, that show good profit and loss projections. We are pleased that our company and product proposal are feasible for market entry and growth.

Overall we are extremely happy with the positive impact of this SME Phase 1 Feasibility Study, thoroughly useful for any SME with helping with ‘taking stock’ of where you are and developing plans for the future.
We had three main tasks during this six month Feasibility Study:

For Task 1 Commercial feasibility and Dissemination:

We have researched and developed an understanding of the markets snow, bike, surf, skate and grip. The end result is that we have prioritised the markets of SNOW and BIKE. We also analysed the stakeholders and potential sales channels, visiting and talking to these different customer profiles and stakeholders across various sectors, and in different Countries and regions. We also attended the ISPO winter sports market gaining lots of useful contacts.

Through all the visits and the trade show we generated wide dissemination for the project, with an excellent reaction from every audience with spoke to. The results of this task have also meant that we have developed a market approach targeting the channels that should generate the fastest take-up. The approach is a mix of B2B and B2C that we detail in the report.

Task 2 Technical Feasibility:

We worked together with the research centre Leitat. Together we were able to benchmark the current ‘eco’ products, better understanding their performance levels. Following this, we developed a formula for an NZERO ECO BIKE LUBE, using natural, organic ingredients. Through careful analysis and computer design we were able to create a formula that maximised performance. It is now at TRL4 and we are completing the next phase of stability testing to move to commercial release. We also spoke with industry professionals and cyclists, analysing their needs regarding chain maintenance, before refining the concept for our product

Task 3 – Business Plan and Future Exploitation:

Having identified the most promising sales channels in Task 1 and the new product in Task 2, in Task 3 we planned the commercial approach for the next years in order to drive our companies growth and strong exploitation of the project and its results. Financial planning was undertaken, as was Intellectual Property Rights planning. The roadmap and strategy for developing new product formulas was created together with mapping of the risks and barriers for our commercial activities.
We have developed a new ecological BIKE LUBE. Developed with new bio-lubricant computer modelling it is an advance on the state of the art as it allows for the first time high performance chain lubrication using natural, bio-lubricants that do not affect the environment before during, or after riding.

Added to this our Organic Ski wax is also a natural, ORGANIC performance produce that used research to develop a state of the art natural product that functions at a high level and allows for society to enjoy winter sports whilst protecting the environment.

So far we have shipped to over 10 countries, directly impacting the quality of the Snow environment and the water table around winter sports resorts. We have also educated thousands of people, showing a problem that they never knew they were causing. This has already driven a social change to habits.

With our new BIKE product and strong commercial plan (also for the SNOW product), we expect to ship over 300,000Kg of product per year by 2026 across the globe generating huge societal impact and a much cleaner environment following sports practice.