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3Bee Hive-Tech

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 3Bee Hive-Tech (3Bee Hive-Tech)

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

Honeybees are essential for environment health and to sustain human life, being accountable for more than 80% of food supply worldwide thanks to the impollination of more than 400 different type of crops and 1/6 of flowering plants. However, pesticides, poor diet, pests and pathogens, poor bee-hive management and climate changes are hreatening the species, leading to a fast and dangerous increase in deaths (53% of deaths in Europe in 2016 and about 90% in the US). This burden is causing severe economic losses in all EU 27, incentivating the uncontroled import of foreign bee products and leading to depreciation. Europe is facing a growing need to guarantee the local and km 0 productions using a full quality control based on a physicochemical, microbiological and geographical description. 3bee HIVE-TECH is an innovative end-to-end IoT system enabling completely autonomousreal-time monitoring of beehives allowing to predict and to prevent bee death due to environmental and biological factors (pathogens, chemicals pesticides etc...) swarming and bee infertility and supports the bee products traceability, being completely self-powered and self-sustainable. The approach has already been demonstrated on the field and now the conclusive improvement of the concept has to be performed by means of a design optimization focused on the reduction of production costs, a final implementation of the innovative technological aspects related to energy harvesting through vibrations and the related software/cloud architecture, and the design of innovative predictive beehive health assessment algorithms with the aid of excellent academic partners In order to reach the market, 3bee needs to:
-finalize HIVE-TECH unit industrial design with the final hardware/software configuration for a Minimum Viable Product;
-test the final prototype in an operational environment, to reach TRL9;
-industrialize the technology, protecting the intellectual property (IP), creating an optimized supply chain and launching the technology to prospective investors;
-develop and implement the commercialization strategy.
Thanks to SME-Instrument Phase 1 project, 3bee was able to fulfill the initial activities foreseen for the future uptake of the market. The project was focused on the following main activities:
1. industrial design of the HIVE-TECH Minimum Viable Product, with the production of a final assembly diagram, a BOM and a list of selected partners among technology vendors and subcontractors;
2. the selection of 80 new sites to install MVP prototypes for field validation and data collection;
3. the development of predictive algorithms and models for assessing beehive’s health status based on the collected data;
4. the final implementation of the HIVE-TECH software and cloud architecture accordingly to the research results;
5. the definition of the business model and of the go-to-market strategy, the development of a 5-year Profit & Loss forecast and of the SWOT analysis;
6. a rigorous quantification of the device manufacturing cost and cloud infrastructure maintenance at full operations, the development of a complete bill of material, selection of suppliers for key components ;
7. the definition of a work plan and budget for the Phase 2 (PH2) project, securing of a partnership with a private investor to ensure complete financial capacity for Phase 2 project ;

The most relevant outcomes achieved during the Phase 1 activities are listed below:
1. A total of 100 HIVE-TECH units have been installed at selected partners premises among the company’s most promising early adopters, 95 new adopters have been identified and secured.
2. A large dataset has been collected and analysed with the aid of UniRoma1, producing a minimum viable product for the predictive models for the assessment of beehive health status. The resulting model has been validated on a realistic environment among three different professional beekeepers with the aid of Api Lombardia.
3. HIVE-TECH MVP industrial design has been produced, optimizing the electronic diagram for the power supply unit, audio signal acquisition chain and static protection. Vibrational energy harvesting unit has been validated through field testing among the identified adopters. The target cost for the HIVE-TECH unit has been calculated in the sum of 150€, with a target market pricing of 350€ VAT included. Product lifecycle has been estimated to be at least 4 years, with a total economic benefit for the user of 700€.
4. Competitor’s analysis has been updated and confirmed the disruptive performance of the HIVE-TECH solution.
5. Supply chain has been revised. Several Chinese and European vendors have been identified and BOM has been finalized and secured.
6. Private investment covering SME Phase 2 project auto-financing share (500.000€) has been secured and sealed with the signage of a Memorandum of Understanding
7. The HIVE-TECH project has the potential to produce a net profit for 3Bee of 3.3 M€ by 2021.
8. The work plan for Phase 2 project has been drafted, together with the budget needed: a total budget of 1.521.375€ is foreseen to carry out the Phase 2 project activities. A grant of 1.064.963€ will be required from the European Commission, while the equity of 500.000€ will be provided by private investors.
9. A go-to-market strategy has been proposed and a SWOT analysis drafted.
The services provided by the HIVE-TECH solution (beehive health-assessment, yield prediction and maximization, anomaly detection and disease automatic diagnosis, brooding detection and measurement) are currently not matched by any competing solution, which are in turn very simple and rough monitoring systems, furthermore, the highly competitive market pricing (350€ for the device plus 2-10€/mm for AI Powered services in cloud). The main benefits expected from a successful market uptake of HIVE-TECH in 2021 will be an increased efficiency in beehive management across whole Europe and Worldwide, an overall increase in bee population worldwide and an increased sustainability of the whole Agriculcture sector.
Other socio-economic impacts are:
- new employment creation in the Agriculture and Agritech sector;
- increased sustainability of the whole food production chain;
- scientific and industrial development in a high technology sector;
- European SMEs competitiveness improvement;
Hive Tech System