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Mubic Report Summary

Project ID: 662476

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Mubic (Mushroom and biogas production in a circular economy)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2015-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The AST solution combines different business areas, which normally do not work together: Biogas production and Mushroom production.

Growing certain conventional as well as biological mushrooms require a substrate made by e.g. straw for organisms to grow. Collection of those ingredients requires transport from up to 400 km from the substrate production facility. The innovation of Advanced Substrate Technologies (AST) is a technology able to produce a new substrate from a waste product without creating new waste that enables optimal recovery of nutrients and provides more efficient use of biomass at a much lower cost.

The case for mushroom production is very compelling, as the new substrate enables a 50% reduction in production costs, recover nutrients that are lost today, and optimize production of biogas. The new substrate makes it possible to:
• Reduce the expenses for substrate
• Automate the planting, nurturing and harvesting of mushrooms, where manpower today accounts for approx. 50% of production costs
• Reduce investments

China is the world’s largest producer of mushrooms (71.6%) followed by the US (5.6%) and NL (3.6%). In 2013 the total world production of mushrooms amounted to 7.7 million tonnes, and the market is growing. According to analysis made by Markets & Markets the mushroom market, in terms of value, is projected to reach approx. €45 bn by 2019 at a CAGR of 9.5% from 2014.

AST is currently constructing a demo-plant for substrate in Denmark and a mushroom farm based on a new developed tray system in The Netherlands in cooperation with project partner Panbo, and these plants will be essential for the future commercial success of the substrate solution. The demonstration plants will need to prove the feasibility of the concept and it will service as a test facilities for further testing. Proving the profitability of the demonstration plant in the Netherlands proves its profitability worldwide, and future customers will be able to se the operation of the plant as well as the convincing test results, which demonstrates a huge optimization potential compared to current production methods, and a ROI of max. 3 years.

The primary target customers for the Advanced Substrate Plants are large, new mushroom production plants and existing biogas plants. An Advanced Substrate Plant is in this context a smaller add-on investment that will provide a positive business case, control over and security of substrate production and an improved quality of substrate.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

A profound market analysis and business plan has been compiled.

This covers:
- A European launch strategy for AST plants – Mushroom industry
- A description European mushroom industry
- A description European substrate industry
- A description of AST substrate
- A launch strategy for AST substrate production facilities in combination with tray mushroom farms
- A go-to-market strategy
- Identification of potential market size in add on to biogas plants – new or existing
- Definition of agreements and financing models with co-operation partners and costumers
- A cost benefit analysis, return on investment
- A cost benefit analyses (mushroom farm)

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)

With the conduct of the work during phase 1 AST is now well prepared for the next step of their business strategy - namely continued work on the demonstration plants and application for Horizon 2020 phase 2.
During the phase 1 work AST has gained valuable insight into the technical feasibility of their innovation and at the same time the market potential has been demonstrated via market analysis and the compilation of a business plan, which will be the foundation of the phase 2 application

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