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SYSTEMPOLE Report Summary

Project ID: 696226

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SYSTEMPOLE (High Performance Modular Composite Pole for Orchard Hail Protection)

Reporting period: 2015-08-01 to 2016-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Orchard production is of a particular economic importance as most of the fresh fruit is consumed internally with a total production of over 133M tonnes in 2011-13 (accounting for 7% of the total EU agricultural output value). Hailstorms may occur in any season and have devastating effects on orchard productivity and profitability. On average, damages caused by hail affect the 60-80% of the crops, being estimated in €5,500/ha per year which accounts for a total of €7billion in the EU28 (total area of 1.29M ha). z
Our SYSTEMPOLE will develop composite poles as an alternative support system for hail protection in orchards (mainly for apple and pear trees). This innovative material will have better mechanical properties (longer service life >40years, lightweight (75% loss) and high-strength (increased by 50-90%)) and lower costs (15-35%) in comparison with existing poles, wood and concrete, due to the costs of buying, transport, installation and replacement. Moreover, SYSTEMPOLE has a modular design and it will be installed easily by the farmer.
However, before this innovative solution could reach the market, a Feasibility Study had to be carried out to evaluate the viability of the proposed product. Therefore, PLASTICAL S.R.L. presented a Phase 1 project to the SME Instrument H2020. The project was granted and between August 2015 and January 2016, a Feasibility Study comprising a Business Plan has been carried out.

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

In our Feasibility Study we have developed four different tasks:
Task 1: Technical plan
During this task, we have evaluated the technical concept and manufacturing process of SYSTEMPOLE, including the polymeric raw materials assessment and the joining method assessment. We have chosen polyamide (PA) material as polymeric matrix and the option of joining based on the hypothesis with male/female geometry .
Besides, the technical viability of SYSTEMPOLE has been assessed through a risk analysis to identify and prevent any possible incidences that could arise during scale up, future operation and service life.
We have decided to continue with the development of SYSTEMPOLE. In this context, we have defined our execution plan with main tasks, considering this point as future activities instead of including it in the technical plan.
Task 2. Subcontractor and supplier selection
For the execution of Task 2, we have conducted an exhaustive search and selection of subcontractors and suppliers which will participate in the industrial scale up of SYSTEMPOLE technology and, later, on its future commercialization. This task has been very important, as the success of the project and the full deployment of the technology relies on the collaboration of several actors involved in the production and commercial chain. Furthermore, this search and selection has been done taking into consideration the origin of the potential subcontractors and suppliers, which should be in line with the commercial and exploitation strategy for SYSTEMPOLE.
Task 3. Commercial and exploitation plan
During this task we have analysed the commercial impact of SYSTEMPOLE solution as an essential part of the anti-hail systems. We have done first, a market analysis for orchard of apples, pears, peaches, nectarines and apricots, studying its size and structure, the target market and share, geographical analysis, market evolution, drivers and barriers. Moreover, we have analysed the profile of the main competitors and we have conducted an analysis in pricing and regulation issues affecting our market.
On the other hand, we have developed a sales and exploitation strategy for SYSTEMPOLE comprising the unique selling points and key stakeholders to get involved.
Finally, a Freedom to Operate analysis has been carried out to ensure that there is not any overlapping with the proposed technology and any other patent. Based on the results, knowledge protection strategy has been defined with the objective to protect IPR.
Task 4. Financial feasibility study
We have evaluated the financial viability for SYSTEMPOLE project through the consolidation of the business model. We have defined our total annual production (cumulated of 1.38M of SYSTEMPOLE by 2023) and we have stablished the production cost and the selling price of SYTEMPOLE (€16). We have updated the projection of the revenues, margin and Return of Investment (ROI) for the first five years has been updated.

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)

After the detailed study performed, the conclusion is that SYSTEMPOLE project shall continue as it is a strong project which can boost the market by reaching a European need. Moreover, the technical study carried out justifies the reliance of the technology. Finally, the market and financial study reveals a clear business opportunity for PLASTICAL to increase consistently their profit in the coming years: €8,832,000 as cumulative profit by 2023 considering a five years forecast.

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