Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BIOTIMA (Market Opportunity Confirmation for Biomimetic Tissue Matrix Products)
Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2015-07-31
Demand analysis and use case confirmation was also undertaken as part of the project, which resulted in customer visits across the globe and interview sessions to better understand the customers’ context, needs and motivations. This resulted not only in elaborated product specifications for target customer groups, but also in continuing validation and partnership projects with these customers. The aspects of marketing and sales strategy, production and operations, regulatory environment, organisational alignment, IP strategy and risk analysis were also elaborated. Although a number of issues for further development were identified (some requiring new approaches), the overall market opportunity was successfully confirmed.
During the process of preparing the feasibility study and the business plan, we have been able to devote considerable time and access a vast number of research materials, as well as customer/user insight and feedback, and better understand the industrial and research state of the art. The above activities confirmed our main business idea- that the hydrogel technology platform which Ferentis is developing is unique and highly desirable due to the combination of key important factors. Furthermore, the overall market opportunity was successfully confirmed by establishing that a) there are sizeable and growing market segments in tissue matrix and 3D cell culture products, b) there is substantial demand for unique features and capabilities of our technology platform and c) there are technologies available (although still in emerging stage) for advanced manufacturing and scale-up of the business model. Finally, a financial model was developed, taking into account the projected sales, associated operating expenses, capital expenditures and financing required, resulting in financial projections and pro-forma financial statements for the next 7 years. The company’s projections show a profitable financial opportunity creating value for the company’s stakeholders.
After this feasibility study and business plan, we intend to make some quick improvements in a few critical areas, and start approaching the investors to take the company forward. Translating our tissue matrix product prototypes into industrial scale production continues to be a major challenge. This will require establishment of tissue matrix materials’ nano engineering processes and the setup of advanced manufacturing systems, where advanced engineering expertise will be needed. This suggests financial funds needed for further development, and the company will now engage in the finance raising activities, from both private and public sources. The financial resources raised will accelerate bringing our cross-sectorial innovation to market, create jobs, revenue and profits for the company, and benefits for the industry and society.
The SME Instrument program has been a very valuable excercise. Aside from the financial support received, which allowed us to procure specialist services, visit our (potential) technology users/clients worldwide, attend forums and conferences where we could gather the needed intelligence, the project has discplined the management team to focus our efforts and activities on very specific tasks leading to the feasibility study and the business plan. Business coaching has also been a very valuable excercise, where an outside expert's view allowed us to take a slightly different look at the company development and strategy. As a beneficiary of the SME Instrument, we have opted to participate in an investment readiness assessment which was particularly useful, and even contributed to some of our work on the feasibility study (i.e. risk analysis and mitigation plan).