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AqFresh: High-Performance Odour and VOC Management Innovation with Demonstrated Potential in Many Addressable Markets

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AqFresh (AqFresh: High-Performance Odour and VOC Management Innovation with Demonstrated Potential in Many Addressable Markets)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2018-12-31

Unwanted odours, though a natural part of everyday life, can lead to discomfort, embarrassment, and strongly affect feelings of wellbeing. Olfactory sense is well known to regulate mood, cognition, and behaviour. Hence there are the many situations where removing malodours is desirable for a sense of clean and freshness or is vital to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

Malodour removal is of global interest and importance. The most common strategy, however, is to mask odours with overwhelming fragrances. This can be counterproductive since high levels of perfume can be unpleasant and lead to allergic response. Consequently, there is a growing and unmet consumer need and market trend towards non-fragranced deodorising products but due to a lack of effective solutions, consumers continue to pay for products that mask, rather than remove, malodours. Additionally, the impact of air pollution on quality of life is critical for human health and well-being. Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are significant problems due to a combination of harmful substances including volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Aqdot developed AqFresh, based on Aqdot’s unique and proprietary performance chemistry and its ability to capture a wide range of malodours, particularly VOCs that cause health concerns, that can be incorporated into a wide variety of consumer products. AqFresh has proven superior efficacy in removing malodours and VOCs in comparison with the nearest state-of-the-art technologies (e.g. cyclodextrins, sodium bicarbonate and activated charcoal). AqFresh can address a number of markets including air care, femcare, incontinence and nappies, air filtering, and deodorants.

The main objective of this project was to continue building the business case for AqFresh technology, gaining deeper understanding of the customer’s unmet needs via direct engagements with potential customers and partners, establishing and IP and regulatory compliance strategy and defining a business strategy.

As a result of the work completed in this project, Aqdot has established a business plan for AqFresh portfolio and prioritised the target markets based on technical readiness, market size and barriers to entry. Also, a clear regulatory compliance and IP strategy has been developed to ensure the sustainability of the business. A marketing plan for AqFresh has been put in place and will see full successful commercialisation across markets by 2022.
The project main objective was to consolidate the learnings from customers engagements, intellectual property management and regulatory strategy into a business plan that includes an economics forecast to prioritise the commercialisation areas for AqFresh technology.
AqFresh business case has been intensified due to engagement with multiple customers during the project: existing customers relationships were strengthened, new potential customers identified and collaboratie proof of concept projects initiated. Understanding our customers’ needs have been key to define our business strategy and create a clear commercialisation plan. These engagements have preliminarily validated the business model for AqFresh and helped to redefine the the business plan.
In the area of IP management, Aqdot continued to execute our 5-year IP protection strategy. During this project Aqdot strengthened existent patent applications and ensure there is no freedom-to-operate issue with AqFresh technology. Also, Aqdot captured essential know-how and registered relevant trade marks for AqFresh related products.
Also, a global regulatory compliance strategy for the next 3 years has been put in place to enable Aqdot’s customers and partners to deploy AqFresh technology across different geographies.
A commercialisation plan for AqFresh portfolio has been created which outlines activities to ensure manufacturing readiness of key raw ingredients and formulations in all application areas, as well as those for business development, supply chain, communication and dissemination to guarantee return of investment. Aqdot participated in Odournet to disseminate information about AqFresh technology and will participate in Olfasense in Q1 2019.
The impact of bringing new and improved products to market in personal and household care, and industrial applications will generate an end-to-end product value chain for the EU. Also, the successful commercialisation of AqFresh portfolio will strengthen the EU footing in manufacturing of malodours and VOCs counteraction solutions. Beyond the financial benefits for Europe, and Aqdot particularly, AqFresh technology commercialisation will be in line with key European Sustainable Development Goals.
- Good Health and Well-being. Enabling people, specially aging population, to live free from embarrassing odours, increasing their quality of life while contributing to a healthy and allergy-friendly living.
- Gender Equality. Fragrance-free products will remove embarrassing odours and lower the skin allergies incidence (higher incidence in females than males) while boosting women confidence.
- Clean water and sanitisation. The removal of faecal odours will make public toilets more accessible, reducing the amount of open defecation and consequent contamination of water sources.
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Aqdot will continue to invest in product research and development to create a long-term innovation pipeline and create a European advantage as a exceptional provider of performance chemistry solutions.
- Responsible Consumption and Production. AqFresh formulations have been developed keeping sustainability in mind. Oderase, Aqdot’s first consumer product, has achieved a SILVER letter in the Cradle to Cradle® certification. Aqdot will continue to seek sustainability and safety relevant certifications for all AqFresh related products.