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Smart cuvette and portable Time-Resolved FRET for fast analysis of milk

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - I-Cuvette (Smart cuvette and portable Time-Resolved FRET for fast analysis of milk)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-03-31

In the dairy industry, milk contamination can happen at any stage of the production chain from the farm to the shelf. The control of the food chain requires appropriate analytical tools to investigate food with regards to natural and manmade contaminants and fraud and to ensure safety, health and quality.
The I-Cuvette project aims at the creation of the smart cuvette, functionalized with ad hoc molecular recognition elements (MREs), able to detect contaminants (for example antibiotics, toxins, pesticides, hormones) in milk without sample pre-treatment. The Smart Cuvette will be integrated with a hardware analytical device and a software platform for analysis and data transmission/management
During Phase 1 activities were performed according to the four foreseen tasks:

Task 1 - Technical Feasibility study
This task focused on the identification of the best protocol for the indirect ELISA test in order to identify the binding capability of the antibodies for one of the selected analytes (penicillin G).
Besides, in this Task partners were able to outline the main activities to be performed to finalize I-Cuvette and divide them in Work Packages.

Task 2 - Freedom to operate analysis
The IPR management strategy was studied and there exists no evidence that neither the Device, nor the Software or other technologies similar to them are already known in the prior art or be commercially available on the market.

Task 3 - Business Plan
The aim of this Task was assessing the commercial potential of I-Cuvette, it was possible to evaluate in details the possible market penetration of I-Cuvette. Partners have decided to concentrate the initial commercial strategy on the main European markets.
Besides, interviews with relevant stakeholders were conducted. The main outcome of this sub-activity was the availability of some Associations to collaborate through one or more of their members to test I-Cuvette during Phase 2.

Task 4 - Financial Feasibility Study
Thanks to this task, partners opted for the widening of the I-Cuvette consortium so to strengthen its industrial and commercial potential. Besides, a direct comparison between two business models was conducted and partners decided to pursue the free loan option.
In conclusion, the feasibility analysis results confirm that the I-Cuvette project is considered of high relevance for ISS and K46 as well as the other partners’ business growth at EU and global level, with a potential strong impact for the field of analysis of aflatoxins and antibiotics residues in milk.
I-Cuvette concept