Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Materialize.X (Smart Bio Adhesives for the Wood Industry Powered by Machine Learning)
Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2018-12-31
Much of today’s furniture (such as IKEA’s), wall and floor panels are made of engineered wood, which is cheap, strong and easy to make. However, the adhesives used to mass produce these wood boards are based on a chemical called Formaldehyde, which is proven to be a toxic carcinogenic, emitted over the product's lifetime and, polluting our indoor environment. Regulatory bodies such as the European Commission are pushing to phase out formaldehyde in the EU and the UK with regulations that restrict it’s placing on the market for supply to the general public while there are more measures taken to ensure the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work. As a result, manufacturers are having trouble to cope with these regulations, losing up to 15% in productivity. Materialize.X has created a patented adhesive product based on yeast, an abundant, fully scalable and 100% non -toxic material. Our adhesive fits all industrial requirements for particleboards, OSB and MDF production, making it easier to integrate into the existing manufacturing landscape. On top of that, we offer an innovative support software for optimization of production. Our software and hardware are tightly interconnected: by modelling the manufacturing process, we can integrate our adhesive into the production line much faster and cheaper than with current trial and error methods.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
During the Phase 1 project period we focused on completing a comprehensive market assessment of hypothesis and assumptions combined with an analysis of environmental forces, market trends, competition and market entry obstacles, risks, opportunities and comprising our resources and constraints. Furthermore, we performed a deep-dive analysis of all stakeholders in the wood industry including future clients, as well as potential partners and collaborators while we determined the initial countries for product launch. Also, we established a commercialisation timeline per market that will allow us to accordingly adjust our sales funnel. Furthermore, we completed the patent of our adhesive that gives us a significant advantage over current and future competitors and ensured our freedom to operate in our target markets. Finally, we have identified the development some necessary developments for the Materialize.X platform and defined a realistic and attainable work program to ensure that all the objectives are met, focusing our attention on specific technical and commercial obstacles that could present limitations to our market introduction.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
Current bio- adhesive solutions are either too costly to produce or scarcity of raw material supply limits scalability. The alternatives offered by our competitors are in fact, too expensive to be widely adopted as they are typically made from soy, which has to be cultivated, or tannin, whose extraction process is complex. We firmly believe that our non-toxic data-focused, all-in-one solution will revolutionise industrial production by allowing manufacturers to produce high-quality materials that are also safe and responsibly made, with a focus on the public’s and their workers improved life quality. At the same time, we support manufacturer’s to remain compliant to current regulations and help them optimize their production without losses.