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Innovative system for Bioinspired Atmospheric Water Generation without Input Energy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DAPHNE (Innovative system for Bioinspired Atmospheric Water Generation without Input Energy)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2018-07-31

The Earth’s water supply is – paradoxically – both abundant and scarce. The planet has more than 1,400M km3 of water, of which 97.25% in the form of oceans and seas. However, freshwater represents just 2.75% of that volume or 39M km3. Already today, nearly half of the EU countries suffer from water scarcity and thereof foremost the farmers (and so agriculture sector), accounting for 80% of freshwater demand. Against this background, BIGEKA has developed an innovative, energy-efficient and sustainable technology to generate atmospheric water (DAPHNE) cost-efficiently (by using specially designed and produced nano-engineered materials that offer great potential for water innovations) and environmentally-friendly (by minimizing the groundwater need in agriculture and other negative externalities, including salinity and stream depletion)
DAPHNE uses nanostructured surfaces to produce 300% more water than any other system in the market at 8000% lower weight (0.1 kg instead of 80 kg) which brings efficiency, feasibility and mobility. The worldwide market for industrial and domestic water equipment is worth an estimated EUR 918.9M in 2015. With growing concern in water availability, it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 37.4% to 2022 and the market value of the water withdrawal market rises is expected to reach EUR 9.3B.
BIGEKA is delighted to be a pioneer of this innovative project and the introduction of DAPHNE into the market will have a positive impact on: i) the economy of farmers (our customers), by allowing them to use water at lower costs ii) the environment, and iii) BIGEKA’s economic growth.
We envision that DAPHNE will reach long-term sustainability and will also become very profitable. We estimate an NPV of € 1M and a payback period of 6 years. DAPHNE will result in about €25.9M annual turnover and create 66 new jobs, most highly qualified jobs.
The objectives of the feasibility study were 100% achieved during its 6 months of execution, as per the work description. We have carried out different studies addressed to proving the feasibility of DAPHNE both as a product and as a highly profitable business. In order to do this, we have deeply assessed the main needs of our project, complemented with intensive desk research, in-lab testing and data collected through interviews with stakeholders and potential technology allies.
Specifically, during the execution of the Phase 1 of DAPHNE project 1) we have carried out a detailed assessment of DAPHNE’s target markets; we have also interviewed and collected commitment to the project from relevant organisations within the Atmospheric Water Generator market that can leverage the commercialization and internationalization of DAPHNE in its route to market; 2) we have analysed the conditions for CE certification, the potential of applying new patents for biomimicry water production we are developing and the general IPR of our production technique; 3) we have developed several alternative technology to reduce the production cost of DAPHNE 3) we have created throughout financial estimations for DAPHNE as a high-growth business; and 4) we have built a clear fully-market oriented innovation roadmap for Phase 2 and beyond.

The main conclusion of our Phase 1 report is that the initial business idea is achievable. DAPHNE has a clear potential to positively disrupt the current offer in Atmospheric Water Generator market, leading this novel market and creating a clear opportunity for high-growth for our company.
But, since BIGEKA has different facilities from agriculture to nanomaterials, the market study and stakeholder meeting showed that a new company should be founded just for DAPHNE production and marketing. Therefore a new study was launched with a solid brand building process for DAPHNE.
Next phase will be addressed to carrying out the Business Innovation Plan result of this Feasibility Study (FS). It will be mainly addressed to paving the way to DAPHNE in its route to market, providing final improvements to the current DAPHNE’s prototype and initiating the necessary planning and investments for internationalization and massive take up. For Phase 2 we foresee an investment of €1,7M and a duration of 21 months. We believe the work done in Phase 2 project will pave the way for transformative technologies for water generation and other applications that benefit from superhydrophobicity such as self-cleaning, anti-icing, anti-corrosion, and anti-fouling surfaces.