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Self-test2, wine analysis kit for Brettanomyces yeast identification

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Self-Brett 2.0 (Self-test2, wine analysis kit for Brettanomyces yeast identification)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2020-05-31

The global wine market is projected to grow with a CAGR of 5.8%, during the forecast period (2020 - 2025) (Euromonitor International Ltd.). The wine market is driven by increasing demand for wine, due to its health benefits and premiumization of wine products, coupled with innovation in flavor and more advanced distribution networks, globally. The wine production process is vulnerable to quality degrading agents that, when undetected, have the potential of spoiling the whole production. One of the most impactful degrading agents is Brettanomyces, a spoiling yeast leads to off-flavours and odour formation that highly affect wine quality, causing serious economic losses. Grape proposes Self-brett® , a novel device for the self-detection of Brettanomyces: an easy to use, quick, reliable and low cost new product. This innovation enables anyone to carry out self-analysis on Brettanomyces spoilage at any moment during the wine making process, without requiring the involvement of specialized staff, equipments or laboratory facilities. With Self-brett® there is no need to ship wine samples, and wineries can do repeated tests, vastly increasing the detection rate. Wine-makers, oenologists, oenological product retailers and producers as well as analytical laboratories will embrace Self-brett® because it represents exactly what the wine market is missing now. GRAPE is a start-up company focused on research and development of advanced techniques applied to viticulture and oenology sectors. GRAPE mission aims to translate to market services the technical-scientific knowledge acquired by the founders during their academic careers. Through the development of Self-brett®, patent n. 102019000004015, once again GRAPE shows to be innovative and prompt to fulfil customers’ needs, thus offering the first device for wine self-analysis, available at low price, with the potential to reach the entire wine market.
The feasibility study SME1 allowed the company to commission an in-depth study of the market, gaining data much more accurate than those held by the company at the date of Project submission. The USA are the global biggest producer, followed from Italy and China.
In 2019 the global wine market (red, white and rose) reached 21 billions of liters. At regional level West Europe is the biggest producer (9,8 billions of liters), followed by North America (3,4 billions of liters), Asia (2,4 billions), Eastern Europe (2,1 billions), Latin America (1,7 billions), Middle East and Africa (1 billion), Oceania (0,6 billion).
In order to refine the use of the device GRAPE performed 48 different scientific experiments necessary to fix the unwanted mild colour change due to wine acidity, that makes results ambiguous, as the user expect to have yellow colour only with Brettanomyces growth.
Some of the tests performed are very promising for the Self-Brett® 2.0 development in order to fix the problem of the unwanted mild colour change due to wine acidity. For some of them, GRAPE didn’t change the pH indicator, instead added some salts, but further tests are still necessary to find the correct concentration to use, to finalize the pre-product formulation and homogenization for the industrial scale. For the industrialization plan GRAPE intends to proceed also with the container finalization, in order to to extend the product shelf-life. At the moment the product has a six months shelf-life, but it cannot be extended more due to the lackness of a proper seal, like an O-ring, in the cap that causes the agar medium to dry out and the loss of its efficiency.
The technical feasibility study has included validation of the results achieved, set up of further tests to prove Self-brett® 2.0 efficiency, colour change and stability over time. The entire value chain from suppliers up to customers was defined. Slides production optimization has been evaluated and set up internally, avoiding the potential IPR risk connected with a supplier company. Technical and technological risks were analysed and contingency plans defined. Market size, growth, geographical fragmentation and accessibility were studied, together with an accurate evaluation of competitors’ intensity. The aim was to provide a strategic business plan suited to the overall commercial environment and to exploit the best commercial channels. A successful strategy for Self-brett® 2.0 marketing and commercialization is mandatory to develop a proper business model that takes into account product usage, users’ behaviour and market barriers. A complete and comprehensive business plan was developed. The connection network hold by the company will permit to identify and contact key stakeholders and end-users across Piedmont and other Italian regions to assess device capacity and to accomplish and satisfy customers’ requirements. The possibility of expanding the product commercialization to specific market niches will be evaluated too. Collaboration with commercial partners for distribution will be considered. All the specific objectives achieved in Phase 1 will be fundamental for the pre-industrial development of the product during Phase 2.
Starting from the study of the market analysis obtained during SME1 feasibility study, GRAPE estimates to sell at least 120.000 devices at the end of the 3rdyear of commercialization (300k devices after 4thyr): assuming a single winery owning oak barrels shall buy at least 30 Self-brett®devices, in order to have a yearly full coverage of Brettanomyces control, This result demonstrates the high market potential of Self-brett®if a proper market strategy and with a strong commercialization campaign are adopted. GRAPE will pursue this objective starting from the five European largest winemaking countries summarized in the final report for the year 3, and broadening worldwide the action plan from the year 4.
The total funding requirement for the first two year investment consists in 680.024€, in order to start up the pre-industrial development and to reach the Self-brett® full commercialization. After the SME-Phase 1, pivotal to identify commercial partners, to pave the way for a successful pre-industrial development and to define a solid and strategic business plan, GRAPE would like to apply for the new EIC-Accelerator pilot (SME Instrument Phase-2b) in order to fully develop and bring to the market its innovative product.
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